2nd October 2019

Filling the Vacuum of Loss

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

‘Till death do us part’ has a hollow ring when one becomes bereaved. In a happy, fulfilled marriage, two become one flesh as the scripture says in Genesis 2:24 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The Hebrew word for ‘widow’—almanah—has as its root the word alem, ‘unable to speak.’ (It is related to an Aramaic word meaning to be in pain). The Greek word for widow (chera) comes from the Indo-European root ghe, which means ‘forsaken’ or ‘left empty.’ For those who have been bereaved, these are apt descriptions.

The impact of the loss of a loved one is unique to the individual, but the feeling of emptiness is common to all. As Christians we know that God has a special place in His heart for widows and widowers. He is their Advocate, providing and defending them. Psalm 68:5 calls God “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” God instructs His people to care for the orphan and widow. James 1:27 tells us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

God will fill our emptiness – He alone understands and knows exactly how we feel. He gives us hope in the darkest of days. The vacuum of grief is filled with peace, joy and thankfulness (Romans 15:13). Jesus Christ overcame the grave to give us hope and certainty. The future of our loved one is assured, we have no need to fear. As for those who remain, we are not alone, God is always with us. Jesus promised in Matthew 5:4 that those who mourn would be comforted – and He keeps His word.

Grief can be all-consuming. At times it is as though we are drowning in sorrow, but our solace is found in the Holy Spirit who is beside us and within us. God will see us through this trial. He will carry us, keeping us close to His heart. The ancient prophet Isaiah tells us how to feel about this wonderful assurance in chapter 49:13 “Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” This verse is an affirmation of God’s infinite love for us. He fills the vacuum of sorrow with His divine love and gives us the promise of a wonderful future. All praise and thanksgiving to Him.

Prayer
Great and wonderful Father, thank you for how you care for those who mourn—your perfect love encompasses us all.
Amen

Study by Irene Wilson
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About the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of Grace Communion International, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george.sueann.henderson49@gmail.com