"You shall not fear the terror of night..." (Psalm 91:5a NIV).
scream on that black December night severed my heart into bleeding halves that
wept red agony. The blood-curdling scream and the gunshot dissolved into death,
a finality that seemed impossible, unbelievable.
Chuck was our oldest
son. Psalm 55:4 says, "My heart is in anguish within me..." Chuck told me about
his anguish three weeks before and then he did something about it. He was full
of promise, in his third year of college, only 19, and handsome and brilliant.
Fortunately I already knew a loving God, a Father who watched His
precious Son die (O! how that seeped into my crushed heart right after I heard
my son die!). It was only at that moment that I finally and fully understood our
Father's total love for us all. The Father had made the greatest sacrifice that
we might love and live and look forward.
I knew that God is sufficient;
that if we only believe, then He can bring us through even the darkest night of
our soul. Surely this would be the darkest night of my soul! When I was very
young, a blessed teacher told me many times that "Disappointment is His
appointment." God's appointment for me was that night.
offerings to God ... and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you,
and you will honor me" (Psalm 50:14,15 NIV). Grief teaches so many valuable
lessons. My first exercise was learning to say "Thank You, Father." How
difficult, especially in the midst of such searing sorrow! To give thanks in
such circumstances is indeed a sacrifice, for it is so easy to ask, "What have I
to be thankful for in such a terrible loss?" The balm is applied while we say
it; feeling has nothing to do with it at the time.
The second exercise
was absolute trust that God would heal the gaping and gasping depression in
heart and mind. I equated it with physical surgery: healing finally happens.
There are scars, but the pain finally diminishes. I realized that the cure of
the psychical pain would take longer than the cure of physical pain, but the
equation helped me so much.
Prayer: Father! Thank
You for delivering me and giving me strength to honor You in the valley of the
shadow of my son's death. Thank You!
Patricia Erwin Nordman, Sing A New