I watched the movie Courageous last weekend and cried off and on throughout the entire thing. I have so many things on my mind even still of how it was an inspiration. Tonight I want to discuss gratitude in the face of loss.
In a scene from the movie a 9 year old girl dies in a car accident and her father is seeking counsel from his pastor. The pastor tells him:
“there needs to be a grieving process, and the Lord’s the one who carries you through it. It takes time. It takes time for healing. I’ve heard many people say who’ve lost a loved one that in some ways, it’s like learning to live with an amputation. You do heal, but you’re never the same. I would also say, that those who go through this and trust in the Lord discover a comfort and an intimacy with God that most people never experience. He doesn’t promise an explanation, but He does promise to walk with us through the pain. And the hard choice for you is whether or not you’re going to be angry for the time you didn’t have…, or grateful for the time that you did have.”
Such power in those words. We can choose to be angry for what we didn’t have, or we can choose to celebrate what we did. Bitterness is like a poison that slowly causes us to die too. Our hearts cannot be full because we are too consumed with the frustration at what we will never have at the loss of the loved one but – if we are willing to fight for the courage to be grateful, then we can hold tight to the beautiful things we did experience with them.
Take hold of that courage. Fight for it. Declare it. Focus on the positive, for every negative thought try your best to think of two positive memories. Celebrate what you had, instead of breaking over what you didn’t. And in the hours that you have no strength or courage left or cannot find any to begin with – rest in the arms of the Almighty. God is always present, always near. Allow Him to make Himself known to you. To comfort and sustain you.
The joy of the Lord is your strength.