Hidden in the devotional I wrote two years ago was the intense grief I was experiencing from the death of my wife, Evelyn. Sometimes we experience the strong love of God just when we need it. Other times we hold this truth in hope, waiting to experience some new discovery of grace. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus tells us to “knock, and the door will be opened” (NRSV). But we don’t know in advance which doors will open while others remain closed. Faith learns to knock on more than one door and to listen for the sound of any hinge that is swinging open.
Numerous doors have opened for me since my wife’s death. I’ve benefited from grief counseling experiences, daily Bible reading and prayer, time with family and friends, devouring the words written by those who have thought long and hard about death and resurrection, and beginning new relationships. Pain and joy crisscross over each of these ventures.
I’ve worked the thoughts and emotions of the past two years into a memoir that I am passing on to my children, who each have their own grief to work through. Grief has a way of binding us together, while yet leaving each of us to our own individual experience of loss.
A year ago, I married again. I met a woman who offered me her love; and did so with grace, care, and never-failing tenderness. We’ve just joined a home group in our church, which is our first experience as a couple with entirely new friends. We both testify that God’s love is strong. And we keep knocking on new doors.
Saying that God’s love is strong is both a testimony to what is, and a hope for what will yet be discovered.
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