I first wrote this devotional a little over a year ago. But I think it may very well help one of you today. Here’s what I wrote:
As I’m writing this devotional on November 16, 2021, it has officially been one week since my beloved husband Raul passed away unexpectedly from covid. My world is turned upside down. Everything changed in an instant. The grief was and is intense. It comes in waves. There is a gaping hole where we used to partner together in daily life and in ministry. The love of my life is gone, and although I rejoice that he is with Jesus, I can’t help but feel like this is all so unfair.
Perhaps you are going through something equally as devastating; different, but still devastating. You may have a prodigal teen who is getting into trouble with drugs. You may have just received a cancer diagnosis that has rocked your world. You and I will definitely need to grieve the losses in our lives. Sometimes we mourn the actual loss of a loved one, and other times, we need to grieve the loss of what we thought our life or our health or our family would be like.
This morning, when I was trying to worship God through my pain, he gently gave me a different perspective that helped me quite a bit, so I would like to share it with you in the hope that it will somehow help you even a tiny bit as well. As I was grieving and asking him the “why did you allow this to happen” question, he whispered to me “But I gave you a gift that you didn’t deserve. I gave you 16 wonderful years with Raul.” Mind-blown. Perspective shifted. I suddenly realized that I’m a sinner who has made mistakes in my life, and yet God, in his extravagant kindness, chose to bless me with a gift I didn’t deserve…for 16 years. It made me thankful. Instead of sinking into depression and bitterness, I realized that God blessed me beyond measure with 16 great years.
God’s kindness to me reminded me to stop fixating on my pain and to start thinking about what I should be truly thankful for. Then this verse came to mind. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Even though you are going through something painful, can you take a moment to remember ways that God has blessed you? He IS a loving God. He blesses us more than we deserve.