As I Grieve Over My Loss
Lamentations 3:20 Grief doesn’t follow a set of rules; instead our souls sink, finding a foundation on which to rebuild our lives on hope
“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.”
Lamentations 3:20 NLT
As I write this, it’s been one year since my 93-year-old mother died. I was prepared for her death; her health been declining for years, and after a fall in January of 2022, her body and spirits both failed at the same time. In early March she went into hospice care, and on March 19 — while Barb and I were both deep in intercessory prayer — she passed.
One year later, I look back on her death with both sorrow and happiness. Sorrow that she’s no longer around to take delight in our trip photos, eat the cookies that I inevitably brought over because she had a love of sweets, and listen with interest to whatever I had to say, like she always did in my life. Happiness in that I knew this wonderful woman for 64 years.
Today’s verse is from Lamentations, a book of poetic laments written by the prophet Jeremiah about the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. It perfectly describes the feeling all of us of a certain age experience with the loss of a parent, spouse, friend or loved one, and the sadness — “this awful time” — that is with us forever.
The NKJV translation of this verse is a bit different, but perhaps closer to the nuances of grief:
“My soul still remembers And sinks within me.”
Lamentations 3:20 NKJV
From the Enduring Word commentary for this verse:
It was good for Jeremiah’s soul to sink, to find its bottom point so that he could build on the right foundation.
i. “It is evident that in the preceding verses there is a bitterness of complaint against the bitterness of adversity, that is not becoming to man when under the chastising hand of God; and, while indulging this feeling, all hope fled. Here we find a different feeling; he humbles himself under the mighty hand of God, and then his hope revives.” (Clarke)
Modern day “experts” would have us go through a set of precise stages of grief, but Jeremiah’s description of the soul remembering a person, time, or place, sinking to a dark place, and then coming back to the light of life is much more realistic. Jeremiah humbled himself to the Lord and found hope, just as we can.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, we thank You that whatever happens in our lives, we can find joy once again because You bless us with good even as we pass through sorrow. We know that we are never alone, and that You will provide us with strength to help us through the rough patches in our lives. Your help makes all of life bear fruit, whether we experience good or evil, sickness or health, vibrant life or death. AMEN.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Clarke, Adam "Clarke's Commentary: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments with a Commentary and Critical Notes" Volume 4 (Isaiah-Malachi) (New York: Eaton and Mains, 1827)