“The Christian’s heart is constantly sending up sighs and petitions to God, regardless of whether he happens to be eating or drinking or working. “ – Martin Luther
I know I do not pray enough. I try not to tell people I’m going to pray for them without actually doing it. “Prayers!” on facebook just isn’t enough, but neither are empty words. Guilty.
But God is patient and kind and puts up with my feeble prayers. I do believe He hears me when I don’t even realize I’m sending up those sighs and petitions. And I am grateful for those who I know are praying for me. Many prayers have lifted me up this past year.
Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, And you have strengthened the feeble knees; - Job 4:4
In my search for advice, empathy, survival tips on grieving, I’ve come across some helpful articles. One place where I found a relatable story was at modernloss.com
These words from Elaine Ross rang true with me:
We never had a sweeping declaration of love conversation.
For 18 months, I’ve been falling asleep hoping to dream the words we left unsaid; and I’ve been waking up hoping to come upon a letter he’d forgotten to give me.
I allowed him to take his last breath without saying those precious words?….
It wasn’t until I taped the last box of his clothes and carried it into the car did I realize what I had found in that closet. The business card on which I wrote my cellphone number down the night we first met, every Father’s Day card and birthday present and random art project the kids ever gifted to him, printed Excel spreadsheets with all our home vendors with phone numbers and contact names (which would have been helpful in those first days of widowhood), and pages upon pages of treatments, medical and natural. What I found was in fact what I was looking for: acknowledgment of how much he loved me and the family we created, of how often he quietly and bravely faced his own mortality, of how certain he was that I would know best how to find our way forward…
The deeper meaning, then, is not found in the things we said, because we didn’t, but in the way we approached our truth.
Some of the things I have found that let me know I would find my way forward were the books of his I have to read, the index cards of Bible verses, the baseball glove, the folder of letters, the grandpa mugs and “No, You Can’t Have a Sip” mug, the little black book of user names and passwords, the budget spreadsheets where he had slaved over the figures for months, figuring out that, yes, he could retire. Yes, we could make a go of it. We just didn’t know then that it would just be me making a go of it. But, he planned well and took care of me. God knew and He takes care of me.
Do I want Chuck back? Yes, with all my heart. Do I doubt God’s plan? No, but neither do I understand it.
Yesterday I was reading Prayers of the Bible by Gordon J. Keddie and this verse from Nehemiah struck me as being applicable to our situation today in light of the coronavirus.
But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. – Nehemiah 4:9
The men in Nehemiah weren’t battling a disease, but I think the idea here can apply to our world right now. We need to pray and to keep on working. I read two articles this week that were written in this same vein. One was this article in which C.S. Lewis expressed his thoughts on the atomic bomb. Replace the bomb with coronavirus and it’s a lot of common sense, especially for Christians.
These words from Martin Luther are full of wisdom: ““I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.” You can read more HERE