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Sunshine After Rain

I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart. Let us praise the Lord together, and exalt his name.

For I cried to him and he answered me! He freed me from all my fears. Others too were radiant at what he did for them. Theirs was no downcast look of rejection! This poor man cried to the Lord - and the Lord heard him and saved him out of his troubles. For the Angel of the Lord guards and rescues all who reverence him.

Oh, put God to the test and see how kind he is! See for yourself his mercies shower down on all who trust in him.

Psalms 34: 1-8 (TLB)

The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking; he rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins.

Psalms 34:18 (TLB)

Stephen E. Freeman lives in Virginia. In April 2008, they lost their teenage son, Nick, to suicide. Nick was much loved by their large family and his many friends. His sudden passing left them with raw emotions of shock, loss, anguish, and grief. How could this have happened, and why did God allow it? Searching scripture, Stephen discovered Psalm 34. Reading verse 18 brought an immediate conviction in his heart that as painful as this was, God would take care of them.

The weather forecast for the day of the funeral called for a 100 percent chance of rain. Stephen offered this short prayer: "God, I need blue skies and sunshine to bury my son." On the morning of the funeral, the sky was threatening; but as they emerged from the service midday, the clouds had vanished, the skies were blue, and the sun was shining. The weather remained perfect the rest of the day. In the days that followed, they were surrounded by family and friends who cared for all their needs, a further sign of God's continuing compassion.

God did not answer Stephen's "why" question; but God was present, showing compassion, sovereignty, and care. They will forever mourn their son, but they will live on with hope, and a certainty that God loves them and that they will someday join Nick in eternity.

I have the same certainty that someday I will join my grandson, Andrew, who passed away 08/11/2021.

Prayer: Dear Father, when we are overcome with grief, thank you for your promise never to leave us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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