12 October 2013

Losing Your Mother, and Finding Joy Again (Isaac's Story, Day 12)

We only have one window into Isaac's experience when Sarah his mother died.  We hear all about Abraham mourning, purchasing land to bury her on, and turning his attention to his son Isaac who is nearing forty and needs a wife.
The search is on--not by Isaac, but by Abraham's trusted servant Eleazar who carries with him strict instructions about the kind of woman to bring back.  Still, it doesn't matter to Abraham how good the woman is, if she won't come sight unseen to the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants, there's no marriage.  Isaac must not take the steps backward toward the land of idolatry Abraham left at God's call, even to find a wife.  The ground Abraham has gained, spiritually speaking, through hard knocks and the grace of God, must not be lost.
It's not until after incredible and specific answers to prayer convince both Eleazar and Rebekah she is the one that we hear anything about the groom.
He's alone, and comes out in the evening to spend time with the Lord in nature, when he sees the camels coming bearing his bride.  Eleazar gives him a full report of the search, the find, the veiled woman in his company.
"And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death."  Genesis 24:67
I think there are things to learn about handling grief from Isaac.
While he grieved the loss of his mother, he kept spending time in prayer.  He drew near his Maker, not away from Him.  (see Genesis 24:63)
He spent his prayer time in nature, walking through the fields in the fresh air.  (see Genesis 24:65)
He wasn't in a rush to get rid of his mother's things, nor was he so protective of them that he couldn't put them to new purposes.  His mother's tent was still there, set up, functional, yet when Rebekah arrived, it didn't have to stay Sarah's tent.  It could and did become Rebekah's realm.  Isaac welcomed the new into the old, which I believe helped him move forward from grief. (see Genesis 24:67)
Isaac allowed the new gifts God sent into his life--particularly Rebekah his wife--to bring him joy and comfort.  He didn't stay locked, paralyzed by grief, forever, but instead fully experienced it and then trusted that God had provided him with exactly the woman he needed.  He rested in this, and was comforted.  (see Genesis 24:67)
I'm not going to tell you losing your mother--or any other loved one--somehow becomes easy.  I will, however, tell you that the same God with whom Isaac spent time with during some of his most alone and sad times, is still there for you.  When He sends you tokens of love and new joys in life, don't feel guilty about accepting and enjoying them.  They don't replace the lost loved one, but they do comfort and enrich, just like Rebekah did in Isaac's life.

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1 comment:

  1. One of the biggest blessings came to me through the deepest part of my resent desert- I decided to read through the Conflict of the Ages series - I actually started with Steps to Christ, went on to read - Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, then I started through the Conflict series. I was SO blessed. It helped keep me close to God during such a difficult time.
    Lisa :O)


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