This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. (Isa. 38:5)
The young woman huddled on the couch, tears streaming unchecked down her face. All the bitterness of loss, uncertainty, and shame tumbled in halting phrases. Terrible pain of young love gone bad, informing later decisions and perceptions and responses, was recounted in a story stark and broken. Subsequent decisions affecting marriage and career were like bitter stones to spit out. And yet, in the recital of grief came hope as compassion was extended, and hope flamed small yet bright. In the telling and tears came the comfort of the soul bared and loved.
Hezekiah recounted his life’s legacy and wept bitterly. He had aligned himself and his kingdom with godly principles, and yet mourned perhaps the lack he knew and the loss he faced. Whether or not informed by his understanding of God as a giver of life, Hezekiah knew that his days were seen and judged. He wept for what might have been and could be.
By its very nature, hope is informed by grief. Without loss or lack, there would be no contrasting recognition of joy or completion. Without grief, comfort is unnecessary. Hope exists only when something is missing. Hope lives small but bright in the land of loss and fear. Hope shines like a single flame in the darkness of the unrealized. In great mercy and infinite compassion, God Almighty sees our tears and responds.
Remember that divine hope resides in mortal grief.
Sandy Emmett is the Wellness Synergist for Global Partners. She grew up as a MK, learning language in several countries in Europe and Africa. She loves reading, walking/hiking, traveling to new places, and—her new granddaughter.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.