Nothing creates drama like a child whose hopes don’t come out exactly as they had wished. Any parent who has told their kid “maybe” to a request they hoped their child would forget about has learned this lesson the hard way. Our son is the kid who hangs onto that maybe until it comes into fruition. He loves looking forward to things, planning every detail of what will happen. But when something doesn’t turn out as we wished, the results can be devastating. The problem - we often hold on to a promise that was never made.
Maybe you have been there before. You had an expectation of how things might go. Maybe there was a misunderstanding. You know how devastating it can be when things don’t turn out exactly as we had hoped for. Grief does that to us. We are crushed not just by our loss, but because what we had hoped for didn’t turn out as we expected. And when we weren’t clear about the promise, when we put our hope in promises God never made, our grief feels even more unbearable.
Good grief is clear about the promise. While God never promised to spare us of the heartache, God has promised that we are never alone.
For generations God assured his children that he would be with them. As the Israelites prepared to enter into the Promised Land, the land they were waiting for, Moses shared his final instructions. He understood the difficulties that lay ahead. He knew there would be challenges. Their faithfulness would be tested. He even warned them what would happen if they broke their covenant with the Lord. But he also reminds them of the promises of a God who would go with them; a God who was for them, a God who would not abandon them. It was a promise that would be echoed throughout the generations.
28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath. (Deuteronomy 4:28-31).
What are the promises you are holding on to? Our hopes are crushed when we hold onto promises God never made. But there is one promise that remains true - You are not alone.
In Christ’s Service,
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