Life Goes On
Sad, isn’t it? That life goes on without us; without our loved ones. It’s like a game of tag – ready or not here it comes. And it chases and follows, and it pulls and pushes. It doesn’t want you hiding on gools or taking a time-out. Instead, it wants you running around frantically just waiting to get tagged; just waiting to get captured. Life wants to pull you in as far as it can. It doesn’t want to wait around for you to feel better or to be strong enough. Life doesn’t give time for rest or rejuvenation. It wants to deplete you fully; to suck you dry of everything. Life doesn’t care about you. Life doesn’t consider you. It is relentless without a cause. It’s unpredictable; its unstable; and, it’s unreliable. It laughs at our plans and our strategies; it seeks to overtake us. Believe me when I say, life is completely capable of doing just that.
So, what keeps us? When the tornado makes our head spin and the wind tries to blow us over? Where is our safe place? When the wreckage is greater than the salvage? When the broken is deeper than what little remains? Where is our refuge? When we’ve lost a child, a spouse, a parent, or a sibling? When friendships cease and people we never thought would leave us do? When forever is no longer after you said ‘I do,’ with everything in you? When our American Dream is now a fighting nightmare? Is there any escape from this struggle? Will the desperate clawing, the endless crying, the constant fighting stop? Will it ever stop? Where can we go to escape the pressure? To soften the blunt trauma? Is there even such a place? I believe there is. For me, there is only one place of escape.
‘He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’ (Psalms 91:1-2 NKJV)
But, some of us are walking through the unimaginable. Life is taking us under, and we don’t know how to get through. We’ve lost a precious child. We aren’t called widows or orphans. Instead, we are without a name in this. No human word could ever depict or describe who we are after losing our very own child. It is the death of ourselves as we once were. We can never be the same, and our child can never be replaced. We walk through the darkest shadow of death, and we can’t seem to pull ourselves through. Even when we hide in the shelter of our Mighty God, we know we cannot stay there forever. We have to come out, and we have to walk THROUGH this. Yet, He is STILL with us.
‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’ (Psalm 23:4)
We are never alone. Even though, lost and forgotten by some, we are never forgotten by our God. For He knows our pain. He gave his innocent son’s life, just to carry us through this life and into His loving arms – FOREVER.
So, yes. Life goes on. Sad, isn’t it? It goes on without us. It goes on without our loved ones. It’s like a game of Tag, really… But, in this particular game, we’ve already been tagged. Life thinks that it’s knocked us out. Life thinks we aren’t playing anymore. And, for some, that may be true. So many of us have let life win because we’ve lost something so precious. We’ve been tagged, and now we are out. But, we don’t have to be. We don’t have to play along by life’s rules. We can make our own this time. We can take all the time we need for safety. We can dwell in the secret place forever. But, dwelling there doesn’t mean we can’t walk ahead. I know this world is a scary place. Losing a child makes us realize how fleeting life is. I know there are times that I am tempted to just stay in my house for the rest of my days. In some ways, I’m afraid to love. Because love crushed my heart into a million pieces. Giving my all meant losing all that I gave. And, it is hard. Every single day is hard. But, this life can’t have me. This life cannot have any of us, if we don’t let it. Instead we get to have life. And, I’m convinced that, as scary as this life can be – it is a gift. We just have to take it instead of letting it take us. We can do it. We can walk this life out together, knowing that God will be with us if we just ask Him to. Yes. It will be dark, at times. Yes. It will seem scary. Yes. We will face death. BUT, the light will not be overcome by darkness. And, just because we feel afraid doesn’t mean we have to let fear reign. Death is NOT the final say for those whose Hope is anchored in Christ. Because, one day, death will be overcome, and this life that we know here will cease.
I know what moving forward feels like for a grieving parent. It feels like we are leaving our child behind. I battle this every day, and I have to bring it before The Lord. My son would want me to live. I can sometimes sense him encouraging me to move forward. And, in my reality, which is more real than anything here on this earth, he awaits me. He isn’t behind me, but ahead. I don’t get to him by looking back, I see him when I press forward.
So life goes on, no matter. Will we let it pass us by or count us out? Will we let it control us. Let it take us? Or, will WE take IT? Will we take all we can get out of this life; using it to our advantage? Letting even the hard roads lead us further towards Christ? Will we run this race with perseverance and allow God’s strength to equip us with all we need to become more like His son? Fixing our eyes on what is unseen instead of the destruction surrounding us?
‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ (II Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV)