New beginnings come in differently tied packages: marriage, birth of a child, new job, move across country. Joyous occasions. But some times they are life rising from the ashes: divorce, loss of a loved one, natural disasters. New beginnings that come as a result of tragedy cause us to re-examine our lives with a brand new pair of glasses. Glasses that remind us of all the love we’ve had in the past, giving us hope for the future. Glasses that help us recognize the lessons we’ve learned, giving us wisdom to help others. Glasses that show us the future is bright because of the love and lessons that brought us to a new day.
I do not mean to make it sound easy, it’s anything but . . . I know, I’m in one of those new beginnings and some days my life feels like it’s coming apart, as if the edges of my soul are held together with a basting stitch - a stitch used to hold pieces of material together until the final tight, small stitches are in place. My life is new, unexplored territory, but inch by painstaking inch, tiny new stitches are being sewn. Somedays the tears, sorrow, and regret, threaten to seep through the tight band of control I usually convince myself I possess.
As God would have it, not long after I lost my son, I found myself in the book of Job. It wasn’t like I planned it, I had finished the book of Esther and Job was next. I’ve read Job before and, to be honest, it was not the easiest book to read. And it’s far from my favorite, no my favorite in the Old Testament is Ruth. After all, Ruth is a romance - what can I say, God created me as a romantic.
This time, reading Job was different. Verses spoke to me on a deeper level. Job 3:13 “Then they (Job’s friends) sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” God has rewarded me with so many good friends and to have them reach out to me in love, encouragement, with heartfelt sorrow, has been the greatest comfort. Sometimes they know exactly what to say, other times they say nothing because there is a sorrow that words cannot touch. I’ve thought about Job and this verse many times, it kept coming back to my mind. The silence of seven days. Seven days. We live in a culture that has trouble being silent for five minutes. Never underestimate the importance of being there for a friend in need, even if you don’t know what to say. Believe me, you are making a difference simply by your presence.
Despite all that Job suffered, his faith in God remained strong. Job 19:25 “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.” Hope - it is powerful and wonderful, and when you know God, it is real.
As I enter 2019, a new beginning for me - my hope is to know God better and to share His love with all I know. His love is real, His salvation is real and it is here for you - whoever you are and wherever you are, makes no difference to Him. He created you and loves you and desires to have a relationship with You.