When I was just a few weeks shy of my 14th birthday, my brother, James, died suddenly of meningitis. He was 19 at the time and, to me, he was one part best friend, one part hero. He was also an extremely gifted violinist, attending one of the elite universities in the country for classical musicians. His life burned bright with such passion and promise that it seemed impossible that he could have died so young, with so much left to do, to give, to live. His death tore through me and I remember thinking how strange it was that I literally felt a void in my chest — a physical sensation like my heart had actually been ripped out. All around the hollow space within, my muscles and bones ached and were sore from the violent tearing in two of our earthly connection to each other.
There were (and still are) lots of “whys”…lots of pleading for this terrible thing to be undone.
I don’t have answers for why the bad things happen in our lives. I can’t explain all the reasons why there is pain and suffering in this life.
But I can tell you that there is One more faithful than the morning sun.
In the midst of debilitating sorrow, I felt the One that holds the world in His hand, hold back the great wave of grief from thundering down all at once and crushing me under its weight. I felt, and feel, deep grief over James’ death and his absence from my life. But I also felt, and feel, the Father’s great love and care for me.
Today, if you’re feeling the pain of sorrow and loss, let me just encourage you with this — He sees, He knows, He cares. Your pain matters to Him. You may not know “why” in this life, but you can know Who will carry you through. In the midst of the pain, stand in the hope found in Him, and let Him cover you with His love.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. – Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)