“He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.” Psalm 30:5 MSG
Recently, I lost my grandmother; or, as I called her, my abuelita. Though it may not have been directly related to the current coronavirus situation, it was indirectly caused through the pandemic. As I wrote in my blog last week, it’s difficult to turn on your TV without hearing about the new cases and rising death toll. All the stress and chaos derived from the news was just too much for her seasoned heart to bear. Suddenly, she suffered a stroke and was taken to the hospital, where days later she passed away.
I cried. Oh, I cried my eyes out. I cried for most of the day. I thought about how I missed the chance to talk to her one last time, to pray with her, to see her. I missed my chance to say goodbye. Then, my mind wandered, and I thought about my grandfather, her husband. I never got the chance to see him or say goodbye to my grandfather before he died. And, I wept. Then, something strange happened and I will attempt to explain it. Though, I’m not sure my words will do it justice.
My grandmother passed away on a Sunday. And, in the midst of my heartache, I decided not to skip streaming my church service. And, as I listened, as the service moved from prayer to praise and worship to the sermon; I felt a strengthening inside me. Scripture always has a way of coming to life in my life. The Word had truly become medicine to my flesh. (Proverbs 4:20-22). After services ended, I was so weary from crying, I fell into a deep sleep on my couch. (Matthew 11:28-29).
When I woke up from my slumber, I thought about my grandmother again. But this time, God reminded me through my social media memories, that exactly 2 years ago I had traveled to Peru to see her. Not only did I get to see her, but my family traveled with me and my kids met their great-grandma on that trip! Suddenly, I had a stream of beautiful memories come back to me of our trip to visit her, of my conversation with her the week before she passed, and of her love for my grandfather even in his sickness. And, I felt peace because she was with him again. I opened my Bible and read the one scripture that brings me peace when someone dies – Ecclesiastes 3:1-7,11.
I had this unspeakable peace & joy in my heart. As if the sadness had just “passed” through for a moment. And, I remembered Psalm 30:5. I witnessed God’s promise in this verse. I saw how my sadness was but for a moment, yet it was necessary so as to give way to a heart so vulnerable that it would be the only way to receive God’s peace and presence. This, I suspect, is why the Bible says God is near the brokenhearted – because in His presence there is fullness of joy. So, if you are sad, cry. In this pandemic, if you’ve lost someone (whether from coronavirus or not), go ahead and cry. Cry as much as you can and need to because there is a promise, my friend, and joy will come in the morning.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for this morning and this new day! Father, thank You for another day of life, which I do not take for granted. Thank You for Your Word that says You are near the brokenhearted. Thank You because You said You would never leave me or forsake me. When I am sad, You are still with me. You are Jehovah Shammah, the Lord is there. I will bless You no matter what because You, God, are faithful. Lord, Your joy is my strength and I love You. You are my Peace, my Comforter, and my Strength. I give You glory now and forever, in Jesus’ name. Amen.