Rambling river of reprieve

By Dave Henning / May 30, 2024

“Experience and His Word reminded me that grief has a course, like a rambling river carving a path and ever so slightly altering earth on its way.  Surrender will come, but tears are to carve a way. . . .  I thought it was grief that was wearying, but grief was the beginning of a reprieve.”- Sara Hagerty

“Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”- Psalm 139:12 (NIV)

Sara Hagerty continues Chapter 6 of The Gift of Limitations as she counsels that God takes His time in the reprieving.  Not in a hurry, God initiates us into the reprieve of grief.  Because grief takes time to make a way into the heart.

Therefore, Sara underscores, to talk to God we must first believe this.  That language is a language of the heart.  In addition, Sara notes, prayers can start with grief, with loss.  Pray about all the things you’ve self-consciously talked yourself out of feeling.  Because those emotions serve as fodder for growing your deepest conversations with God.

Furthermore, as Eugene Peterson wrote in Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer (1989):

“A life of prayer forces us to deal with the reality of the world and of our own lives at a depth and with an honesty that is quite unheard of by the prayerless, and much of that reality we would certainly avoid if we could.”

In conclusion, Sara observes, God surely cares deeply about our major life events.  Events like a move across the country, a recent job change, and significant life relationships.  But thousands of thoughts and desires take place between such major life events.  Like that unexpected medical bill or a small group that chooses to exclude you.

So, Sara exhorts, come to God with your small aches.  Because God never sets you on a scale to see who’s crushed enough in spirit to warrant comfort.  Bring your years of splinters to Him!

Today’s question: How do you see grief as a rambling river of reprieve?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The sigh of life = surrender”

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Dave Henning

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