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JUL 25, 2014
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Alan Lester  |  Gauteng, South Africa
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Accustomed to Pain
Posted by: GraceUnlimited | more..

A few days after my wife's death, one morning, I was making the bed, when my foot knocked against something on the floor. Lifting up the corner of the blanket, my eyes fell upon something painfully familiar; tucked under the bed, a pair of her shoes. I could still see her sitting sideways on the edge of the bed, the way she used to do, slipping her shoes off, and checking a message on her phone. Yet rather than her beloved form, there was nothing. Empty space. A void not merely empty, but yawning with an antagonizing vacuum. I propped the pillow up against the headboard in the space where she used to sit. My hands passing through that space declared that she was gone. Just gone. Relentlessly gone. In her place; emptiness. Silence. Motionlessness.

Words gather confounded around me in their beggarly state, not one possessing sufficient equity to adequately frame the distress of these moments. Tears just never stopped flowing as I melted, yet again into an insulting languishing that kept her warm touch and friendly words just out of reach. It is through these cruel hours, weeks and months that I came to understand the vast meaning of the short word: loss. All of the kind privileges, tender pleasures, and comforting companionship abruptly terminated and never to be regained in this world.

Dear reader, please be reassured that I have not engaged in this carefully-worded description of the nauseating sensation of loss in order to secure your sympathy. But rather to draw your mind to an unspeakably deep beauty in Christ. How I have agonized over the portrait of Him in Isaiah 53:3. He was a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Failure to linger over these deliberately deposited words is to miss the boundless emotional depths of the sense of loss experienced by Christ for lost wretches. He was in torment his whole life. He deeply comprehended sorrow and suffering. While I groan from the pangs of the emptiness in the aperture my dear companion used to fill, I am shoved toward the dying toil of the dear emaciated Jesus. What lies within the chasm of loss within His yearning heart?

The very pinnacle of the joy of the Father's heart, is now the jeering of the world. The warm eternal companionship and comfort of heaven has been snatched away and replaced with millions of blind, hating fools. Not even one of His closest companions understands Him—we see this when Peter rebukes Jesus for announcing His immanent crucifixion. (Matthew 16:22) One of the most tormenting features of grief is that the person most likely to understand what you are going through, is gone. For Jesus, relocating from the supreme affluence of heaven to the most squalorly slums of earth, constituted a loss of this nature.

The heart that truly desires to drink deeply of the adoration of Christ, can run a pensive finger along this throbbing nerve, extending from His conception to His exaltation, and pause in tears as the Father fully abandons His Son in the blackness of Golgotha. Into the darkness His cry arcs and falls. Alone. Stark alone. Abandoned into the poverty of incalculable loss, loss, loss.

Jesus, Jesus, Oh sweet Jesus, you strained under this deadweight to purchase everything for me. For your loss, I am grateful. Moreover, if my loss has brought me to worship on my knees, it was certainly the very thing that my glorified wife and I needed.

I preached on this text as part of a four-part series. If you would like to listen, here is the link:


Here is the link to the page where information on Hurting in Hope can be found:

htt p://w ww.gr aceun limit ed.co .za/B ooks/ Hurti nginH ope.a spx

Category:  Hurting in Hope

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Living With a Ghost
Posted by: GraceUnlimited | more..
He is a weary man, enslaved to his work, troubled by cases that seem impossible to solve. At night, he comes home to his wife who has become indifferent to him and his fixation on his career. She hardly speaks a word to him, neither he to her, yet...
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Reality: The New Category
TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2014
Posted by: GraceUnlimited | more..
To be honest, I wasn't surprised when some of the more conservative printing presses rejected my manuscript. Authors take it personally when their work is rejected because they write their hearts onto the page. To reject the manuscript is to...
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I Can't See You
MONDAY, JULY 21, 2014
Posted by: GraceUnlimited | more..
Some of the most useful changes I have undergone in life have been those that bring a new appreciation for the people around me. It is as if I had felt permitted before to excuse my lack of practical love toward them under the title, “I...
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The Grief of God
SUNDAY, JULY 20, 2014
Posted by: GraceUnlimited | more..
Grief is an enduring emotion that torments those whom it afflicts with a galling sense of regret. It continually drags the heart through painful territory that one would rather not revisit. There is a a form of protest in the pain of sorrow that...
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Too Weak to Weep
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How exhausting strong emotions can be. If only the exhaustion from strong emotions brought the welcome reward of restful sleep, but it doesn't. It intensifies numbing pain and inflames answerless questions. Surely this is what David felt as he...
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The Thrill of Livin' is Gone
FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2014
Posted by: GraceUnlimited | more..
Yes, I confess, I have sung these lyrics, sometimes in my head, sometimes out loud, at different times of difficulty over the past three decades. I am referring to John Mellencamp's 1982 ballad of Jack and Diane; “Saying oh yeah, Life goes...
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A More Excellent Life
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“Won't you please take a picture of this?” I looked up to see Charleen holding the white gerbera flower she had picked at the flower farm the previous day. High up on the long stalk of the flower, Randall, our pet chameleon, had...
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Cold November Rain
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I sat with my arm around her that night, watching the aeroplanes lift-off from a glistening runway, setting out on their mysterious journeys to who-knows-where. Soft rain pattered down on the windscreen of my pristine '72 Chevy El-Camino, while a...
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The Empty Hole of Love Lost
TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014
Posted by: GraceUnlimited | more..
The tears just wouldn't stop welling up in my eyes as I spoke, betraying the emotions drubbing like an old pair of army boots in a washing machine, inside the hole in my heart. Josh, my dear friend, pastor, and fellow-elder, gave me time. And he...
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· Page 1 ·  Found: 478 entries · Jump:  [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 more

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