The journey had already been long, my legs were swollen and hurting, and we still had another five hours to go. We all needed a break, including the dogs and so we stopped just west of Tallahassee to stretch our legs, all 14 of them, and use the restroom.
As I waited patiently for my husband and son, I gazed at the traffic whizzing by on I-10 — everyone in a hurry to their final destinations — preoccupied minds and hearts — all important. Tears began to stream down my cheeks and I screamed in my heart and mind — loudly, I screamed — “STOP!” “Do you not see that she is gone? Can you not see the hole left in my soul?”
I begged a silent prayer, “Lord, please let the world spin back around — just this once, please?” As my heart cries out all of the pain and missing and aloneness that it feels at that very moment, God softly speaks:
Tam — how far shall I spin the world back around? Shall I go back a few months, a few years, a few decades? For how long shall I suspend it there? What will you do, say, or experience that I did not give you opportunity in the first rotation?? You, see, Tam — to spin the world back around will not buy you more opportunity — it will just prolong your grief. Time cannot stand still — not even for love. Then I remember James 4:14, “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
Lord, I understand — it’s just…that…” and my lip quivers and my heart heaves and I cannot speak and He says, “I know…”
I believe Him — I trust Him — I will find a way to rest in Him…in this world where grief grips and life goes on and we are left…BUT GOD does not leave, nor forsake, nor abandon.
I then realize that He gave me earthly relationships to teach me (and you) — that when (not if) loved ones die and we grieve, we can learn to trust Him deeper and better and more deliberately. Then we can love each other deeper and better and more deliberately. We can do this because Jesus is acquainted with our sorrows (Isaiah 53:3, “ He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”) and when his friend, Lazarus, died, it simply states, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35).
Oh, what a Savior! Oh, what a Friend!