“God is close to the broken hearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” – Psalm 34:18
Losing someone you love is, simply put, heartbreaking. This week I found myself wanting to reach out to my dear friend Fay for some encouragement. I wanted to hear what she’d have to say about the situation I was facing. I wanted to read her messages, cheering me on. She was so good at reminding me of what I already know in my heart! She had a way of empathizing with me while also being quick to help me get back up on my feet again and stand strong. I’ll forever cherish those moments.
Today, I miss them.
Grief takes on so many faces. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s happy, while other times it’s anger inducing. Then there are moments of complete disbelief, where you simply cannot get your head around the fact that the person you loved is gone.
In the midst of sorrow, God’s love for us seems to be more evident. Not only does He understand the pain, He also gives us glimpses of heaven to renew our hope. Well, that’s how it’s been for me. Let me share with you a moment I had last week while sitting in the pick up line waiting for my kids to be dismissed from school.
It had been raining for days here in Springdale. It already felt dreary and the rain left me feeling the weight of grief even stronger. As I waited in the pick up line for my kids, I quietly listened to Matt Redmond’s song, “When We All Get to Heaven” while fighting back tears of sadness and yet, joy. Sounds cliche? Well, it kind of is because although my heart was broken I have a hope that…
“When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing it will be… when we all see Jesus we’ll sing and shout the victory!”
So, here I was thinking about how it must be for Fay to see Jesus face to face when I saw what I’ll refer to as a “glimpse of heaven” in front of my eyes.
As most of the kids waited patiently for their ride, one little girl in particular was pretty excited to leave the lineup. The teacher at the head of the lineup would not release the child to go until her ride got to a certain marked spot. It was a truck that was a little ways back from that particular spot. The driver of the truck waved to the teacher to let her know he was there to get his child — this excited little girl. I was about to witness such a precious moment!
This man – and I can only assume it was her grandfather as he looked a little older – got out of his truck and crouched down to the pavement. The little girl who was behind the teacher’s arm was just waiting to make the run. When the teacher moved her arm the little girl began running to her grandfather whose arms were outstretched ready for the embrace. As she fell into his arms he picked her up, kissed her cheek, and held her in that place for a moment.
And as I watched it all unfold I quietly heard the Holy Spirit say, “This is how Fay ran to me. This is how I welcomed her.”
Immediately, I had such peace and joy come over my entire being. In such a simple moment I had a glimpse of heaven. God in his goodness and love knew that moment was just what I needed to for my heart to experience his peace and comfort.
The bible tells us:
“God is close to the broken hearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” – Psalm 34:18
The Message Bible says it this way (and I love it):
“If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”
One thing is certain: for all of us who have experienced loss, it leaves your heart broken and your body feeling like it’s been kicked in the gut! At times it feels impossible to breathe. It’s in those very moments that God is ever so CLOSE! As we draw near to Him, He’ll draw near to us. He will hold our broken hearts, He will give us breath when we struggle to breathe and every tear we cry, He holds. He loves us so much that He will use an everyday moment like the simplicity of a little girl running to her grandfather’s arms just to give me a glimpse of heaven!
Because it’s the glimpses of heaven that help me hold fast. To keep the faith. To stay eternity-focused. It’s those glimpses of heaven that take my broken heart and fill it once again with joy. It’s those glimpses of heaven that help me breathe again!
If your heart is broken today, ask Him to give you a glimpse of heaven. And, wait for a simple, everyday moment that leaves you breathless in the awe of His goodness.
“All my life you have been faithful
All my life you have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God”
Jenn Johnson, Bethel Music