Last month I got together with a dear friend of mine.
She’s experienced a significant amount of loss in her life, including a miscarriage just months earlier. I’ve had the honor of catching some up-close glimpses into the ways the Lord has worked in her heart in the midst of sorrow the past couple of years, and often marvel at His faithfulness displayed in and through her. The evening we got together was no exception.
As we were parting ways after our visit, she paused and said, “Can I pray for you and your baby?” Now, this might seem like a kind-yet-simple gesture on the outside, but the significance of it nearly made me burst into tears. This precious woman who, not long before, had said goodbye to her own baby was now thanking God for and blessing the one growing in my womb. She was rejoicing with me even as her own sorrow was still so tender. Her prayer was a genuine offering of love to her Savior overflowing in love for me.
I’ve continued to think about this often in the days since. I’ve found myself in awe at what God can do in the hearts of those who are wholly surrendered to Him. When someone who’s experienced loss in some way is truly able to rejoice with and bless another who’s been given the very thing that was taken from them, there’s no way to explain this apart from God’s amazing grace. And being the recipient of that is impactful beyond words. I’m reminded just how much Jesus changes everything. When someone chooses to obey Him rather than cling to their “right” to bitterness or anger or lack of love toward God (and others) for what He’s allowed, the fruit is breathtaking. It doesn’t come without a fight, without struggle and often doubt and so many tears. But when the evidence of the hard process of surrendered sanctification begins to appear, it’s a glimpse into the glory that awaits us one day.
This kind of example humbles me to my core, and gives me an intense yearning for obedience to the Lord through mountains and valleys. No, I certainly have no desire for additional (and increased) pain and loss. But through examples like my friend who demonstrate what God can do in and through those whose hearts rest in Him rather than in their circumstances, I have renewed faith that He will hold me fast. He will honor those who honor Him. And one day, that obedient faith will be rewarded beyond our comprehension.