The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
I've sunken into a conformed expectation of grief the past couple of weeks, thinking that sad and crying (and hiding on my goat farm) is the only accepted way to mourn a son. It could have been the head cold, or my hermit nature, or the actual reality of the suffocating realization that life does go on when a child dies - take your pick I guess. I think it may have started when the lady at church forgot Trent's name. It sent me into a spiral of thinking that all of this pain was pointless, that even God may have forgotten his name.
So I've settled for numb and sulking, besides coughing and sleeplessness. But then it struck me like a 2x4 to the back of the head this morning: this is God's gift to me. Suffering, served with a pretty bow on top, all to know Him more; to count everything as loss in order to know Jesus (Phil 3:7-14).
I have longed for joy again, the simple kind of joy found in waking up and savoring a cup of coffee on the back porch, or having a horse ride and a picnic with the kids, or just looking at their beautiful faces without my heart breaking because I know the day could come when I may not see them again until my own eternity begins. I find myself lamenting over the fact that pursuing the things of this world don't excite me anymore. I'm not quite sure how to live from now until I see Jesus face to face.
I am a doer, and if I'm not "doing" I think I've failed. So I plant huge gardens, and build a goat herd up until the barn overflows, and start building screen porches, and make a long honey-do list because if I've got so much to do then everybody else around here has to be doing something, too. I fill the time, waiting for the days to pass. At the end of the day I think, "I'm one day closer."
In awe this morning I accept the gift, I quit drinking coffee and go brush my teeth, then head out to pull more weeds and ponder what exactly Jesus meant when He said He is coming soon and His reward is with Him. And I may even dance in the corn rows while I'm out there, farmers tan and all.