February 14, 2022 | Dan Low
At the beginning of every new quarterly cycle, I am honored to join our GriefShare and DivorceCare groups (aka our Prayer Healing Ministry) to welcome them to our church family and pray for God’s gracious healing (shalom = true peace) in their hearts.
I am so appreciative of each one and their willingness to connect with others in a remarkably painful season when they have lost someone whom they deeply loved. I realize the courage and respect the faith that it takes for these individuals to join a community like this, especially as they enter into a space that’s unfamiliar on so many levels.
Fourteen years and running, this faith-stretching, hope-affirming, and love-reassuring ministry has been faithfully shepherded by those who have experienced personal loss themselves—either through death or divorce. Having received comfort from the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, they are uniquely equipped to comfort and care for others in their distress.
What I find especially striking is that many who have been strengthened and encouraged through the process gladly remain long after they have completed the course so that they too can be a catalyst for hope and healing. It’s such a beautiful cycle as they love new members just as they have been loved by others.
That’s what it looks like to overflow with hope. As the God of hope fills us with all joy and peace, even in our struggles, we can bless others by abounding in hope. Knowing that we are loved by God, regardless of what we feel or how things seem, helps us to regain our footing. We grow in our conviction that absolutely nothing can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As we meditate on God’s perfect and enduring love for us, we deepen our capacity to love one another. We become more patient, more helpful, more attentive, more empathetic, more generous, more considerate, more truthful, and more gracious. Just like those who support each other through the heartache of losing someone they love, let’s be ready to love the people that God brings into our lives because he first loved us.