For the last couple of days, we’ve been talking about Simeon and how, as an old man, he was finally able to see his Messiah in the flesh. Interestingly, he had a female counterpart in the story of Jesus’ birth, and her name was Anna. The Bible calls her a prophet, and we learn in Luke 2 that she lost her husband after just seven years of marriage. Assuming she was married at the age of 15 or 16 (as most girls at that time would have been), she was probably only 22 or 23 years old when he passed away, so she lived most of her life as a widow. However, rather than let grief destroy her, after he died, she leaned into the Lord’s presence, moved into the temple, and built her life around her Maker. While she undoubtedly endured a season of deep sadness upon saying goodbye to the one with whom she had planned to share the rest of her life, she remained close to God and allowed the Holy Spirit to fill her with eternal purpose. Like Anna, we, too, will endure seasons of loss, though not necessarily of the same kind. And whether we grieve the death of a loved one, face the end of a dream, or mourn the impact of physical illness or emotional abuse, the wake of sorrow will always leave us with a choice: to become bitter or better… and choosing to be better always means growing closer to Jesus.
My friend, when you’re wading through the deep waters of loss, find peace in the enveloping love of God. You’re a child of the Most High King, and as you abide with Him, He will shelter you under the shadow of His wings and comfort your heart as only He can. There’s nothing you go through that He doesn’t understand, and He is able to take even the most devastating pain and bring from its ashes something eternally beautiful. When you surrender your deepest brokenness to Jesus, He will restore what the locusts have eaten and shine His glory through your circumstances in a way that tells the watching world just how kind and gracious He is.