I think sometimes that the purest example of love comes in the form of loss.
There is such breadth and depth to the very word LOVE, and yet it can so rarely be fully realized until it is at least threatened and at most lost.
My family and I recently attended a funeral viewing of a man we have known for virtually our lifetimes. A man whose strength in convictions and in work ethic and in dedication to his family was powerful, as we had all watched it for so long. And while those deadly tendrils of cancer gradually wrapped around his strengths, not even that could strip him of the breadth and depth of his love for his family and his Lord.
Standing beside someone who is battling for his life is no easy task. And loving him relentlessly too often meant suffering brutally when the one who is so loved must face so much pain and so many trials before entering Heaven’s glory.
And loving him is losing him.
When we don’t know how to do life without the ones we so desperately need and so longingly love, life’s road map changes entirely. And dredging up the strength to face it more alone than before is a daunting task, to say the least. And trying to just take one step at a time feels impossible.
When our love is taken away or thrown away or abandoned, there just aren’t easy answers as to why a loving God would allow it to happen. Why one more miracle wasn’t possible. Just one. Just once.
I wish I could say why. It’s on my lengthening lists of questions for God when I meet Him some day.
But the simple truth is, that He knows exactly how it feels to have your own beloved, your most beloved, suffer in agony and despair and death.
The God who created humanity and the universe did not spare Himself the debilitating pain that we feel when our beloveds are taken away.
The God who crafted the most intricate workings of the world and who delicately molded your beloved and His did not perform one more miracle on the day His only Son was tortured on a ragged cross.
The God who loves you and your beloved so very, very much and who does not want to see you ache in silence or in solitude, is the same God who understands every moment of every day, every emotion you bear because He Himself has felt them too.
And while He didn’t give you the miracle you so desperately prayed for, He didn’t leave you either.
The breadth and depth of His love for you is so much more vast and more deep than to abandon you to your pain. He walked it with you. Suffered it with you. Longed to bless you with that miracle.
And for whatever the reason that your miracle didn’t come, and for whatever the reason that the road ahead now seems so foreign and unknown, and for whatever the reason that you need to know how to just take the next step forward in sheer faith… know that His love hasn’t left you. Even in your suffering. Even in your relentless love. Even in your shattered heart.
God is near. He has been with you through it all. And He will never leave you.