A Prayer for When You’re in Mourning
By Molly Law
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”-Revelation 21:4
The world recently experienced a collective time of mourning with the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty has been an established fixture historically, politically, and culturally for over 70 years. Not only did her country and the world experience some level of grief over the loss of their monarch, but a family lost their mother, their grandmother, their great grandmother. And maybe this caused your own grief to return to the surface — for grief has not timeline — and any feelings felt are valid and natural as we are human. Even Jesus wept for his friend and deeply felt the devastating effects of death even though he personally knew the paradise and eternity that would be waiting.
Death is a devastating reality. It happens to us all, every day, yet with its unwavering commonality, it does not make it any easier to experience. It’s especially hard to swallow when death comes unexpectedly and too soon in someone’s life. When a death is tragic, like a child dying from cancer, the goodness of God can be put into question. Questions such as, “Why would God allow this?” “Why didn’t He heal my child?”
In these moments, well-intended people may try to offer their sentiments by saying, “Everything happens for a reason” or “It’s all a part of God’s plan.” However, this can be the worst thing to tell someone in mourning. For someone who is already in the most vulnerable and heartbreaking time of their lives, this could also cause them to move further away from God. In the midst of losing a loved one, they may think that God took away their loved one in the most devastating way possible. These condolences can create animosity and strife.
It can be so hard to reconcile the reality of death and suffering with the goodness of God. I believe that the tragedies in life are not created by God nor is it part of His plan or will. Unfortunately, we live in a broken world, and when sin entered the world with the fall of humanity, the reality of death entered as well. I don’t believe that a tragic death, or death in general, is a part of God’s plan. I believe that God fully desires for us to live a beautiful, healthy life without pain — which is why He made a way for us to be in paradise forever with Him once again.
However, because of the brokenness of this world, children have cancer and illnesses, people experience suffering and death. Since we are surrounded by these realities, the logical question that arises is “wouldn’t God, who is all-powerful, omniscient, and truly good, intervene and save [a child from death]? That is an absolutely valid question and there is nothing wrong with asking it. God can handle it. He can handle the doubt we work through.
Although this is one question that I cannot definitively answer either, I acknowledge that it’s one of the mysterious sides of God that make Him the Lord our God. It is through faith alone that provides peace to that question — faith alone that God is good.
My heart is hurting in the wake of my loss. I feel empty and hopeless. There is a piece missing. I pray that in the midst of this darkness that you would be near me. Although I cannot fully grasp the reason or purpose, I know you understand and cry with me. You feel my pain and bring me into the fold of your loving arms.
Father, I pray for those who have lost someone they love. I pray for them as they grieve. I pray that you will be with them and comfort them, letting them know that it is okay to feel everything that they are feeling. Even though we may know that our loved one was saved and are now in heaven with you, I pray for your comfort and peace to surround us until we, too, may be united again with you and them. Death is so confounding and hurts more than anything else on this earth, but I know you, my God and trust you with all of my heart to be there in the darkest time of our lives.
We love and trust you, our Father in Heaven.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo credit: ©SalemDesign/BethanyPyle
Molly Law is the Editor of C.com. She has a Master of Arts in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, UK, where she studied and lived for a year in Scotland. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Writing from Gardner-Webb University. Her editorial career includes Senior Editor of a bimonthly magazine for the nonprofit ACA and Editorial Assistant at Luath Press in Edinburgh, UK. She enjoys reading 18th-century British Literature, creative writing, and traveling.
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Originally published Monday, 10 October 2022.