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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Faith in grief, at best victorious, at worst an aspiration

Photo by Aleks Dahlberg on Unsplash
THROUGH it all, through it all, my eyes are on you (Jesus), and it is well. The adapted strains of Horatio Spafford’s classic hymn communicate, as he did, the scandalous reality of an overcoming hope in the deepest grief, a psychological phenomenon setting faith apart as priceless in our darkest hour.
Grief, like other dispositions of state along the continuum of life, has its own range of emotional experiences varying day by day. Sometimes we’re strong and capable and forward-visioning. Other times, sometimes with a jarring suddenness, our hope is severed and even to think and breathe is pain.
At any degree along the journey, in any vacillation, we are able to tap into a God connection that seriously makes no sense to the world. The more our backs are against the wall, the more a song like It Is Well is sown into us for later; so we feel victorious, even invincible in the faith, at best, or aspirational, at worst, as we cling to a hope we don’t at that time possess, but know that we will have again.
This is when we know our faith has caught us sufficiently that we’ll never backslide into unbelief again; when we have consistently sought God, and won our peace when our backs are against the wall.
What is good news is this: whether we are at our best or at our worst matters little. Our grief has created a craving for genuine fellowship with the Lord. We are happy resting in the presence of victory, but we’re just as content somehow to reach for the clouds when we can’t get off the ground.
Fortunately, even as we determine that we have the freedom of belief within torment, even as we live only to be reminded of what we lost, our faith compels us to make the most of this time of repair. In grief we are attracted to God and God knows what we need; the rest is humble submission. We know whichever way we go we have safe harbour from where to launch on our daily voyage with and for God.
*Acknowledgement to Kristene DiMarco’s song It Is Well from the Album Mighty.

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