My dad died ten days ago. It was expected, not sudden.
My sisters and I had many wonderful months to love on my dad and to say Good-Bye appropriately. I (we) left nothing unsaid, nothing on the table. I have no regrets.
But still, even with all that preparation, when my dad took his last breath I felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach. I was totally unprepared for the wave of raw feelings that swept over me, or for the spiritual flatlining that would follow them.
I led my dad’s funeral, but I was completely unable to pray or read the Bible in the days before. My sisters and I had kept a four-day vigil by my dad’s bedside before he died, so I knew going into the funeral that I was already physically and emotionally spent.
I’d open my Bible to read and just stare at it. I would try to pray and simply not have the strength to say even a word.
Now, ten days removed, I’m only a little better. I can read the Word, but I still cannot pray. My spirit is just flat and lifeless, like a sailboat stuck in the doldrums with no gentle breeze to move it along. I sat for two hours at a beautiful prayer and worship event this morning and felt nothing.
Susie says there’s a word for such a condition. It’s called grief. Who knew? Maybe I’m actually getting healthier, as this is the first time I’ve really grieved in years.
But even with my spiritual weakness I need you to know that I feel nothing but grace from God. And that’s the point of this blog. I have absolutely nothing to offer God right now–I can’t pray, I can’t lead, I can’t teach. I can’t do any of the things I usually do to be a contributor to the Kingdom. But in the midst of all that uselessness, there’s grace. Waves and waves of grace.
Deep in my weary spirit I sense that none of my “uselessness” matters to God. He seems to be totally okay with where I am, maybe even more than okay. I KNOW that God loves me and that he understands this process. I KNOW that my High Priest Jesus is interceding for me right now. I KNOW that the Holy Spirit is comforting me. I KNOW that God is with me in this valley of the shadow of death. And, I KNOW that this season will end. But until then, God’s grace is enough.
Actually, it’s more than enough.
To all of you who have or will find yourself spiritually winded to the point that even prayer is impossible, please don’t fret or feel any guilt over that.
God is with you, even in your weakness.
And, this too shall pass.
Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5b