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The Widowed in God's Care

January 2008

     Young people in the prime of life approach the prospect of marriage and a home of their own with high expectations. And it is right that they do so. God has designed marriage to be one of the most blessed experiences in human relationships. How great are the joys of a man and woman who find in mutual love and fidelity to each other, the depth of happiness and fulfilment which God has intended.
     However, reality tells us that sooner or later that marriage bond, which has become so precious to both partners, will be broken by death. Sooner or later, they who have walked together in happy marriage companionship will find that likely one of them will walk the remaining pathway of life alone. And statistics would also say that most often it is the wife who will live the longest.
     The Christian has a foundation and anchor in the Lord God which provides stability and comfort during a time like this - but it does matter from which angle bereavement is viewed, those who are left behind face the reality of a lonely sorrow that is not easily overcome.
     We also realize that no amount of forethought can fully prepare people for the adjustment of suddenly being a widow or widower. It is good then, to consider what God tells us that He will do for those who are in these trying times.
     One aspect of Jesus' ministry is revealed in His words in Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted . . ."
     Take note of those words, "heal the brokenhearted." The Lord Jesus has a particular interest in those who are facing the depths of a heart crisis. And this includes those who have experienced the heavy loneliness of losing a life companion.
     The apostle Paul also wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
     One of the great blessings of the Christian life is to have friends who are willing to stand with those who sorrow. It is true - perhaps those friends are not able to fully understand the sorrow, or the loneliness. And perhaps they cannot alleviate the hurt in a bereaved heart. But they can be friends, and show their care and extend comfort, if only by their presence. One of the wonderful mysteries of the true Christian fellowship  is the great blessing it is to feel the love and care of our friends. It is a God-given gift.
     Perhaps you are experiencing the sorrow, or the loneliness, that is the lot of a widow or widower. First of all seek the soul rest that comes only through a relationship with God the Father in heaven. Then also seek fellowship of others who will in the true spirit of Christ, show themselves a "friend in deed."
     Or, if you know of a person who is going through such a valley of sorrow and loneliness - seek to be that caring friend. The rewards are abundant.

- Mervin Brubacher,
   Barwick, ON

"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity" Proverbs 17:17