Soothing My Deepest Heartache
On September 7, 2002, the phone rang around 2:30 a.m. Our middle son, Jeff, raced into our bedroom shouting, “Joe’s been hurt!”
We frantically pulled on our clothes and rushed out the door. When we arrived at the hospital, we were given only one small piece of information, “They’re working on him.”
Once in the emergency room, we received the heart-wrenching news. Joe had not survived the multiple stab wounds inflicted on his body.
“This isn’t happening to us!” I thought with anguished disbelief. “These things don’t happen to good boys,” I wanted to shout.
I crumpled under the weight of Joe’s death. My child was gone. My own life might as well have ended.
All those years of listening to God’s Word and all those Bible verses that echoed in my heart. And all the ways God had carried me though became blurred behind the agony.
But when I stopped to take a breath, God’s Word filtered through. “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) echoed in my heart over and over again. His Word sounded loud and clear, “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Lord, let your grace be sufficient to carry me through this pain.
I slipped my trembling hand into the comfort of His and stepped forward holding onto it. I clung tight, not each day, or hour, but each moment. For I knew when left unguarded even for seconds, my sorrow could overwhelm me. I was diligent to fill my mind with reassuring verses from His Word, from His firm promises and from His direct instructions.
With renewed strength, I relished in memories of Joe—his hugs, his sense of humor, his leadership gifts and his strong personality.
But the memory that warms my heart the most is when, at 17 years old, Joe attended a Christian camp where the plan for salvation was explained. He made the decision to accept Christ as His personal Savior and Lord.
That guaranteed him entrance in heaven. And tucking that fact in my heart, I live in expectation that I will see Joe again. But this time, I’ll see him with my own eyes
My spiritual eyes also saw a new view—with Jesus, death is never the end, but the beginning of a glorious life, eternal and certain.
Tragedy is often inevitable, pain comes unexpected, and sadness fills our moments, but God’s triumph is available to all, His grace is truly sufficient. And His comfort reaches and soothes the deepest heartache.
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker, and author of the #1 bestselling, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta.