Sunday, April 27, 2008

Seasons of Grief

We went through Hurricane Ivan a few years ago in Pensacola, Florida. Houses destroyed, trees stripped bare, destruction and death all around. But within a few weeks, a miraculous healing began to occur. Even though it was fall, the broken and wounded trees began to bud as though it were springtime. New leaves and beautiful blossoms covered the surviving Magnolia trees, hiding the truth of their broken bodies and bringing hope to a destroyed city.

But then comes the winter. The fall blooms and buds cannot bear the cold of winter and are discarded, exposing again the broken limbs. The hope is that some healing of the tree occurred before the cold set in.

I feel I am entering in to the winter of grief. The initial storm of our loss stripped me bare and broke me. But God in His great wisdom, just as He designed the Magnolia, allowed me a season of growth in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Broken limbs of my heart became covered with buds of hope as I basked in the warmth of His presence. Blossoms of joy covered me. Healing occurred. But to everything there is a season, and the season of winter is setting in. The fall foliage is being cast off and wounds that were masked by a temporary covering are now being exposed to the cold.

Just like the Magnolia blossoms brought hope after destruction, I am thankful for the countless miracles and joys I experienced, bringing me hope in my grief. But everything must have a winter and the Lord has said that now is the season for my wounds to be revealed. It is shocking at times, when I see the brokenness once again exposed - but I must simply trust the Lord that what He reveals He also will heal.

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