God, Are You Silent?
Have you tasted anything sweet in your soul after loss? Has there been anything since your baby went to heaven that has bolstered you beyond words? Maybe you have had a taste of heaven like never before because you now have a child there. Or maybe you have found a taste of fellowship like never before through connecting with other mothers who have stories of faith through loss. I hope that you have had the opportunity to taste something sweet.
What I hope we can see today is that Scripture is sweetness to our souls. Consider Psalm 119:103: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
SWEET DESPITE OTHER FLAVORS
This post is part of a series called Feed Your Soul. We are going to be feeding our souls with the best kind of food. It is food that tastes better than honey to our spirits, unchanging despite all other flavors we have had to swallow in this life. It comes to bless us deeply.
The meaning of “sweeter than honey” in Psalm 119:103 is intended to call to mind words like “smooth,” “glides,” “palatable,” and “pleasant.”
Eating something sweeter than honey does not necessitate that everything in our lives is sweet, smooth, or palatable like honey. In fact, the reality is probably closer to the opposite—this food tastes so good because our palates have never previously tasted anything that is the same.
The Word of God is unlike anything else in the world. It is sweet and pleasant for what aches; it can be liberally applied to what feels internally agonizing.
Now, do you go to God with questions and not hear from Him? Do you feel as though there is only silence—like there is no response that you can hear? Do you despair over this?
Take heart, because you think as God does in that you believe it to be important for your soul to hear from Him. You so desire to hear from Him that you despair when words do not come. If this describes you, then know that you are agreeing with God; it is important that you hear Him speak and know that He is not silent.
And God has spoken to us through Scripture, which is that sweet balm that nourishes, encourages, bolsters, and covers the frail and devastated soul. Hear Him there. And know that Scripture is always like that sweet balm—even when it corrects us, rebukes us, changes our course, or modifies our perspectives—because it makes us know the wisdom and ways of God (2 Timothy 3:16).
SWEET IN ADVERSITY
We are given reason in Scripture to understand it as sweet. First, Scripture makes us wise in adversity:
“Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.”
The Word of God makes us wiser than what is hostile to our souls after loss.
Here are some examples:
Do you have days of blaming yourself for the earthly loss of your child?
Then, the Word of God makes you wise to know that “what is crooked cannot be made straight” (Ecclesiastes 1:15)—meaning, death is a sorrowful part of this world. How can it be escaped? Is it not a miracle to even be alive for a moment in this place? Next, while—yes—mankind’s sin ushered death into this world, still, suffering does not necessitate that personal sin is directly to blame. This is what Jesus indicates when asked whose sin was to blame for a man’s blindness. He says, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned […] but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). Some sweet wisdom is to receive His Word as comfort in a fallen world—while watching and praying for the glory of God.
Do you feel guilt over moving forward with life since the earthly loss of your child?
Then, the Word of God makes you wise to know that you are not leaving your child behind but only moving day-by-day closer to him or her. The day we lost our babies is the day we have hope. He “spoke” to each and every one of them: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). Sweet is the wisdom of believing this reality of present life for our children, living and moving forward under its Christ-won light—instead of under the shadow of death.
Do you feel caught in a cycle of wishing you could have died to join your child or thinking of how badly this life has become for you?
The Word of God helps you to lift your eyes beyond your present circumstances to gain joy in how your life can serve as a testimony to Him. Consider these words from a biblical author who had experienced tremendous earthly suffering: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me” (Philippians 1:21-26). Sweet is the wisdom of God that allows you to look beyond yourself in loss to God’s glory and the good of others.
My list above of Bible verses that bring wisdom greater than what is hostile to the soul after loss is very brief. The true list is endless, for God’s Word is the place of endless treasures for our spirits. Grief feels uncontrollable when extreme sorrow and debilitating fatigue come unexpectedly. Scripture does not promise that if we dwell upon it and learn it, there will be no more moments of this sorrow or fatigue. Yet, it can make us wiser than the threats our souls meet. Scripture is the soothing balm for our souls—sweet even when life is unpalatable.
SWEET AS FINAL, AUTHORITATIVE WISDOM
Scripture continues to give reason for its sweetness:
“I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.”
Neither position nor age is the determinant or giver of wisdom. If you have met someone after loss who has blessed your soul with his or her wisdom—whether younger or older—have no question about how you may gain the same wealth. You may have it for your very own.
By making the Word of God the dominant focus of your thoughts and preserving it in your soul through the way you live, watch God work in you to increasingly know and desire what is good. Say with the Psalmist, “I do not turn aside from your rules, for You have taught me” (Psalm 119:102). As you keep the Word of God close, find yourself saying along with the Psalmist that no one mere person is the guardian of wisdom. Directly to Scripture we must go.
The Word of God is sweet because it always draws us to the God we need—the God our souls were made to know. As we know Him more, we learn the wisdom of His ways. Even though we cannot see Him, He has not forgotten. He is not absent even when He feels far. And even though we do not have Him here on earth in the same way as we will have Him in heaven, we do have Him personally through the sweet treasure of His Word and the Holy Spirit who applies the Word to our souls.
When you desire to hear from God, go to His Word. Search it out as you would the richest treasure. Apply its sweetness to everything in you that cries and aches. Become wiser than the threats your soul faces in grief by learning from the final, authoritative source of wisdom.