My Aunt Kathy is kind of a marvel. One of her many talents is that she always seems to know just what to say to lift you up.
A while back, she pointed me to a scripture that I hadn't noticed before. Job 23:8-10, 17:
8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him:he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me,I shall come forth as gold.
17 Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.
I read chapter 23 in Job over and over a few months after I lost Daniel. I know that I cannot compare myself to Job--for one, my trials are few compared to his, nor is my character so good as his. But still, I found quite a bit of comfort in the book.
Six months or so following his death, I found myself kind of spiritually dead. Right after he died, I was buoyed up by the spirit and strengthened so much from the comforter. But as life went along, it was getting harder for me to take care of my family and I felt alone. (As a sidenote, at this point I went and saw a grief counselor. She told me that people have the hardest time in the stage of grief that takes place between about 2-8 months after a loss.)
Verse 8 seemed to fit--I did try, but I felt like I couldn't find God, that I just didn't have the strength to look. But then verse 10 is what I tried to focus on: "He knoweth the way that I take." That was it--maybe He was hard for me to find in my state of mind, but He knew where I was. I took hold of that thought and it has pulled me through a very dark time.
It was later that I noticed verse 17. In the previous verses he talks about being refined as gold and having his heart softened. And he has those things because he had to go through that darkness--the Lord did not hide it from him.
I've got a long ways until I "come forth as gold." I still wish that the darkness could be "hidden." I wish I were better at seeing the hand of God. But still, I trust that He is there for me. Never far from my mind is the thought, "He knoweth the way that I take." And I know that I am not a special exception--He loves all of us and knows our hearts.