From Grief to Hope
Read Psalm 23
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. Psalm 42:11 (NRSV)
Karla Sue Lowe-Phelps lives in Missouri. One day on a hike, she could see her intended destination: a grove of spruce trees towering above her. However, a thick briar patch stood in her way. Pulling clippers from her back pocket, Karla grasped the forst briar stem, cut it, and tossed it aside. Slowly, she cut a trail leading through the thicket of thorns. Halfway up the hill, she realized how this process paralleled her recent faith journey. For months, grief had overwhelmed her, making daily time with God seem impossible. Karla knew that scripture answered her sorrow with assurance. But the briars of sadness still seemed to block out hope.
As Karla pressed on up the hill, she decided to clip her stems of sadness with the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17). In rhythm with her snipping of the literal thorns, she repeated Psalm 23. With each cut and phrase, she felt herself step out of the earthly and spiritual valley of briars. Smelling the sweet fragrance of pine, Karla looked up at the sun-drenched trees swaying as living psalms to their Creator. God's creation reminded her that reciting and trusting in God's word sustains us and gives us hope.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your word that sustains us in grief. Thank you for meeting us in your creation as a way to comfort, renew, and refresh our hearts with hope, in Jesus' name. Amen.