This time of year can be so painful for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. If you’re not among those experiencing the depth of that loss, know what a blessing it truly is and how worthy it is of giving praise to God!
This year, experiencing the grief and loss of spouses will be the reality for so many. But we all have a choice to make: we can allow ourselves to be consumed by loss, pain, and sorrow, or we can choose to be consumed by God, His mercy, His comfort, and His grace.
Coping with Grief: Call On God
His word says, “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you” (Isaiah 46:4).
Paul addressed the topic of widows in the church and the loss of spouses; the greatest of all personal relationships. He said, “Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day” (1 Timothy 5:5).
Whatever the loss, either past or present, we too must trust God in the same way these widows in the Bible were instructed to do. We must call upon God’s strength to help us bear our burden of loss, then ask God to turn our loss into an opportunity to minister His grace to others who are suffering loss.
Words of Encouragement from the Bible
We know from Luke 2:37 that in the time of her widowhood, Anna “did not depart from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day.” Though Anna was a widow and may have been tempted to live a lonely life, she chose a life of service to the Lord instead.
If we keep reading, we see that God rewarded her long-term faith. For she was there to see the Christ Child—her Savior—finally come at last. Upon seeing Him, Anna “gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).
- Anna was devout—she lived at the temple.
- Anna was a witness—she saw her long-awaited Lord face-to-face.
- Anna was an encourager—she spoke of her Lord to all those who would listen.
Anna was a woman whose life was touched by darkness. Her dear husband had died after only seven years of marriage. In the intervening years, 84-year-old Anna had daily looked for help and redemption from the Lord.
Then, on one particular day, the Light of the world entered the temple of the Lord where Anna was devoutly serving the Lord. Mary arrived, carrying the long-awaited Christ Child in her arms; the One who would dispel the world’s darkness. And Anna was there. And her life, and yours, would never be the same.
A life of faith has many aspects, and in the widow Anna we witness a life of steadfast hope and faithful worship, prayer, and service. Anna shows you and me vividly, the winning combination of qualities that make up a heart of humility!
Are you one who seeks to lift up, encourage, and restore those who are cast down? To speak a timely word of ever-burning faith in God to those who are weary is indeed a divine art!
God of all comfort, today I praise You that You give strength to the brokenhearted and aid to those who are in need. You bring sweet relief to those who are in pain. You protect and defend the weak and provide for those who suffer. Often I feel alone and sad with the loss of something or someone that is familiar and precious in my life.
Yet I know You are always present and will fill the emptiness I am experiencing with Your love, grace, and peace. Thank You that my losses give me opportunities to trust You and experience a greater measure of Your grace. When I am weak, You give me Your strength to carry on and to also comfort others who are experiencing loss. Thank You for Your love and concern. Amen.
Prayers for a Woman’s Heart is filled with this and other devotions and prayer to help you grow in wisdom, patience, and peace!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Choose to be consumed by God and His mercy, His comfort, and His grace.