God Is Near and He Is More
Written by: Krissie Stempuzis-Wendel
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Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow
weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.
- Psalms 31:9 (NIV)
I couldn’t pretend it wasn’t affecting me anymore. Everything I had been holding inside came barreling out. What was wrong with me? It was like everything that led up to this moment had been sitting dormant and numb within me until this moment. Now, I could feel all of it - all at once. It was confusing and excruciating. As I tried to compose myself, my fingers raced across the keyboard. Words and tears gushed out of me. Grief had wrapped it’s grip tightly around me, but so had something else. It was palpable. Both had collided and the end result was words that formed a poem. It wasn’t intentional, it was supernatural.
I sat back, read those words, and let them sink in. My father had been lying in a coma at the hospital for the past few weeks after suffering a stroke. We were all rooting for him and believing God would heal him this side of Heaven, but in this moment, with these words and the supernatural, I knew. This was a goodbye poem - a conversation between me and God. It was Jesus preparing this girl's heart for the reality that was to come the following day. It was Jesus preparing this girl to give an unwelcome message to her family. It was time for my daddy to leave us and it broke me and it was going to break them.
During those moments I felt his spirit with me, a presence. Was it my dad’s or God’s? I didn’t know. Perhaps both. What I did know is that though I was drowning in dismantling grief, I knew I wasn't alone, and in some strange way, I felt comforted. My family and I had time to say our goodbyes to him before he took his last breath. These were bittersweet moments and oftentimes those memories bring us right back to that feeling of drowning in grief.
When I think back to this experience, I’m grateful we had time to say goodbye and I’m reminded that God is more than our grief or anything else we could ever feel or experience in this life.
I share all this to say that, wherever you go and whatever you face, God is always with you (Joshua 1:9) and He is more (Isaiah 40:28-29).
Even when it feels like grief is swallowing you whole. Even when you feel all alone. God is near and He is more. Hold on to hope and lean into Him.
1. What was an experience you’ve had that left you feeling like you were drowning in grief?
2. What was an experience you’ve had that left you feeling like you were drowning in grief, BUT you knew that God was more than what you were feeling?
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for being more than my grief. Thank You for comforting me when I’m drowning in my feelings. Please help me to turn to You to help me sort out what I’m feeling and be reminded of Your faithfulness. Thank You for the sweet ways You remind me that I’m not alone. In Your name I pray, Amen.
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