Hear My Cries

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth, I call to you; I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:1-2 
  My anguished wails carried to the far corners of our home, my keening erupting from my horror’s depths, reaching my husband two floors away. He ran, shaken and afraid, to that unfamiliar sound, finding me curled up sitting on the toilet’s lid. Uncontrollable tears streamed from my eyes as he held me, seeking to comfort me. I burrowed into his chest, seeking out relief. I could not be comforted. I longed to reach into the darkness and yank sweet Aaron out of the Grim Reaper’s clutches. But he was gone.
I had just received the news that Aaron, my stepson of over 17 years, had taken his own life the night before. He slit his arteries all over his body after putting a bag over his head, ultimately dying of suffocation. He was gone. Too late to ask, “Why?” Too late to beg him not to. Too late to hold him safe on this side of the veil. Too late.
As I write, I am cutting open a vein, bleeding, and sharing the torment of losing an adult child to suicide. I cannot share the heartache without entering back into it. And it hurts. The agony still lingers—so many unanswered questions. Time seems to stand still even though the wind blows, and the birds sing. Memories of his life remain all over our home like shadows left behind from a long-forgotten light. Little art projects hanging on the refrigerator from decades ago. Every picture frame and a hand-drawn picture. Sweet and precious memories.
There is an ache that attends his absence. I miss him. However, the agony of my moment was not sorrowing for where he wasn’t but fear for where he might be. Could he have foolishly tried to escape his guilt by adding to it? Could he have sought release from his agony, only to enter a deeper and inescapable one?
My husband reminded me of the hope that restrains our mourning. Over the years, I had spoken to Aaron of Jesus, His perfect life, His atoning death, and His victory over the tomb. Aaron had, as a child, confessed his sins and his dependence on God’s grace in Jesus. He had been such a gentle and sweet-tempered child. His conscience was tender. Was the Spirit at work in him all those years?
Had he forgotten? Had that word fallen on rocky soil and sprung up quickly only to be extinguished by the things of this world? Could it be, like the thief on the cross, as his last breath escaped his body that he remembered, that in his dying despair, he turned again to the One who put death to death?
It has been almost three years now. We grieve a loss that doesn’t go away. We hope to see him again one day. Our only assurance is resting in the promises of God, who answers us in our distresses. Who, when we have no answers, gives us peace and rest for our weary souls. From us and to us, our only message is the message of the gospel, that Jesus came into this world to save sinners. Sinners who sin the most grievous of sins, even those who have taken their own lives.
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” 1 Corinthians 15:55-58.
The Lord Jesus has taken away the sting of death through His resurrection. Believers know that for all who are in union with Jesus, their spirits will unite to Christ after death, and they anticipate the sure and certain hope of the resurrection, given by the resurrection of the Lord. The sting is gone! The last enemy is defeated! Death has no victory over the believer!
All of this is true—death has lost its sting, victory over death! Death no longer holds us captive. Death and the trials and sorrow surrounding it have stings that catch many families by surprise. We never know when we will be called out of this life. Middle-aged men die; children die; older people die. Unless Jesus returns, we will all die. There will be mourning. But trust me in this—if you are in Christ, the mourning will be only here on earth; you will one day be face-to-face with your precious Savior, Jesus Christ. This present suffering isn’t worthy of being compared to the eternal weight of glory.
Remember, grieving is a process; there’s no one-time solution to fix what you’re feeling. God allows pain and grieving for His good reasons, but this doesn’t mean He doesn’t care. There are lessons to be learned. Cry out to God; you will find hope, joy, and peace once again.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,” – Psalm 73:26
In those times, when you’re at your weakest, you may not have enough strength to fight the negative feelings. If you need the strength to let go and move on, there’s no better source of power than the Lord.
When someone you love passes away or if you’ve just ended the long-term relationship with someone you genuinely love, you will feel defeated. Life is that way sometimes, and believe or not; this is all part of God’s plan for you. Don’t believe that old aphorism that God will never give you more than you can handle. He does all the time. He will not, however, give you more than He can handle. He will be with you through every valley and every mountain peak.
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