Share – All I wanted to do was rest, yet I tossed and turned as I faced insomnia for several hours. I was filled with fatigue and needed to restore, but it seemed impossible. There had been many nights like this since my life storm struck and my eighteen-year-old son abruptly passed away. They began to string together like an unattractive strand of beads. I was wearing sleeplessness for many months, leaving me feeling even more anxious as the lack of restoration was not helping my situation. The sleepless cycle left me searching for answers about what was happening to me and thus, I picked up a book on loss but was unable to concentrate.

The grieving expert’s words did nothing to lift my spirits so I opened my Bible to see what it had to say about mourning. I searched for a nugget of scripture in which to serve as an anchor as I was heartbroken and looking for comfort. The Gospel that had once sung life into moments of sorrow and generating hope left me feeling like I was reading a foreign language. There was an invisible fence obstructing my ability to comprehend words and I felt too restless to read or rest in Him.  An emptiness came over me, and I wept. All I could do was pray and ask God to help renew my faith and remove the barrier that was inhibiting my ability to focus and, therefore,  bring “the word” into my heart.

Staying active with chores that didn’t require a lot of thinking power helped distract me. Thus, I purchased some leather cleaner to clean the upholstery of my car. I carefully began cleaning the seat.  And to my dismay, a fresh and sparkly seat did not appear. Instead, all I could see were undesirable streaks of leather oil residue. Overwhelmed and fighting back tears, I returned to the store asking the clerk if he could assist me. I explained that I was grieving and that the leather cleaner mishap was adding more stress.

A big and burly man climbed into the back seat of my compact car. He took a paper napkin and pressed it into the car seat. He spoke in a low, slow, and confident voice, “Have faith and keep pressing in.” I took a double-take and looked at him. He calmly said again, even slower this time, in the most calming and comforting voice, ”Have faith and keep pressing in.”

Insights From Above – The words shared by him began to instantly be a blessing as with all of his muscle and might, he pushed his hands into the seat and the streaks disappeared. While the marks on the seat lifted, the message that he spoke left an impression to ponder. My loss had left me with a shattered state of mind in which I was no longer looking for God’s presence in the midst of my trial. God’s faithfulness was still present in my life, but I was not searching for it. I was not able to rest in Him or read the Gospel and meditate on it because my depressed state was dictating my actions.

Deciding to “be a detective” and rediscovering His presence in my life became a daily goal. Remembering His faithfulness in the past served as fuel to drive my thoughts into the present so I could see with “spiritual eyes” His provision in the midst of my current plight. Hunting for promises In His word for those in mourning became a mission and looking for this truth in everyday life became a need. Pressing on with life in spite of my circumstances manifested itself when I observed that He was still at work and would help my family and others heal.

Application – Finding new ways of bringing the “living word” into my life became a daily assignment. Overcoming the hurdle that I could still read the word, even though I was tired, became a mission as I knew that scripture had served as a life preserver for me in the past by helping me stay afloat through many life storms. Bringing God’s truth in new ways was life-changing as it transformed my attitude. Listening to the Bible on my phone in an easier to understand version was helpful. Reading a kid”s bible was also another technique that worked because it simplified the way that the message was brought into my mind. I became empowered by recognizing that meditating on God’s word regardless of how I was feeling would strengthen my spirit. The physical and spiritual rest that I was seeking slowly began to appear as my faith increased.

Grounding Scriptures – Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Exodus 33”14 “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”

Prayer – Lord, Thank you for the way Your word becomes the light that guides me through my dark times. Help me to seek your presence when my emotions have overcome me. May I receive physical restoration as I rest in the promises of the Gospel and be prompted to reflect on Your word so that I can live out a life filled with faith. Amen

Groundedwords by Deana McGarr, Copyright 2019