Every Suffering Can Be Blessed...

Grief is a crazy thing. 

It creeps up out of nowhere and takes a hold of you when you thought you had a handle on it. It's like a wild animal. Unpredictable. Untamed. 

As I write this it’s been exactly 3 years, 10 months, and 4 days since my father passed away. 

1,404 days.

200 weeks and 4 days.

33,696 hours.

2,021,760 minutes.

However I count it up, it feels like a lifetime ago.

But some days it feels like just yesterday. 

 A 1970s era photo of me and my Daddy. 

A 1970s era photo of me and my Daddy. 

The other day I thought of him and felt tears starting to build up. The simple truth is I'm just a little girl missing her daddy. And I got angry that he's not here to see his grandchildren grow up. Mad that he never got to meet his granddaughter. He would have loved her. He was a big baby lover and loved being Papi. I was upset that I can't pick up the phone and chat with him about everything and nothing. 

Last night I walked in the boys’ room at bedtime and my oldest son was looking at a photo of he and my dad. He said he’d had a dream about him the night before. He was six years old when my father died, but his memories stretch beyond the six years they spent together.

And then the five year old said, “Papi never got to hear my words. The words I have now.” He was only a year and a half when my dad left.

Sigh.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ” Matthew 5:4 

“Every suffering can be blessed because it hollows out a place in us for God and his comfort, which is infinite joy.” -Peter Kreeft, Back to Virtue

While I miss my father immensely, that hollowed out place is no longer tender. I handed over the pain, and God in turn carefully bandaged it up and healed it.

This counts for every hurt we face: loss of a relationship, brokenness over the past, sorrow over our sin and painful regrets.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

While my broken heart is mended and my wound has shed its bandages, there will always be a part of me that misses my father. Always. But the hollowed out place of losing him is now filled with precious memories. God is just good like that.

And I can now use my healing to help someone else. 

"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Might there be a big loss in your life today? One that makes your eyes well up with tears when you think about it? Don’t allow grief and pain to wallow there. Instead, give it up to God and let him bless the empty space like only He can.

Every suffering can indeed be blessed.