This is what the LORD says: "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more." Jeremiah 31:15
This passage is a gift from God to a grieving mother. Rachel refused to be comforted. How can you be comforted when your child is no more? God understands that grief, that pain, and even that rage. Rachel was not spared the loss of her children because they were God's chosen people and we are not spared from pain because we are people of faith. We live in a broken world, and this is the consequence. We are allowed to grieve! That does not mean that one doesn't have peace.
An online event that I witnessed made me think about what it really means to have the peace of God when one faces incredible loss. Can one really say that they have God's peace while seething with anger and hatred toward another, justifying it with their pain? I don't believe that one can. I believe that the true peace of God will temper anger, keeping it in check. It doesn't seem possible to me that anger can consume a heart filled with the Holy Spirit. It may and often does exist, we are human after all, but it cannot consume a heart filled with the God of Love.
God does not promise that we'll be rescued from our sorrow or our trials, but when we put our faith in Him, He will be our strength, even if it's just to survive. And our character will be shown in our response to our adversity. With the wisdom only God can give, we can allow God to use our pain to refine us like metal in the fire, stripping away the unecessary and worldly. It can remind us of what is really important and allows us to let go of things that are petty and trivial.
My grief will not dissapear. It can't. I am separated from my daughter by the life that God has given me to live. Sarah is a gift I can't have back until we are in heaven. At the same time the peace of God allows me to be thankful for her short life, for her presense in my heart, and for the mother I am because of her.
Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It's unfair. This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.
If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.
From Natalie Grant's song: Held
My hope is alive, and my Saviour has held me. I miss my Sarah, and give thanks to my God, for when everything fell, I was held