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Grief’s ‘neverness’ meets God’s ‘alwaysness’

We invite you to peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

Boutwells Landing Campus Pastor Kris Linner
Pastor Kris Linner is campus pastor of Boutwells Landing near Stillwater, MN.
By Campus Pastor Kris Linner, Boutwells Landing

But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23, ESV

Grief rises out of a variety of circumstances. People can grieve the loss of their normal routine, the loss of independence or the loss of identity. Some grieve the loss of health, the loss of memory or the loss of physical abilities. At some point in life, everyone experiences the devastating grief that comes with the death of a loved one. Grief can bring a vale of darkness over one’s world.

Nicholas Wolterstorff, in his book Lament for a Son, talks about experiencing darkness after the death of his son. He writes, “It is the neverness that is so painful. Never again to be here with us — never to sit with us at the table, never to travel with us, never to laugh with us, never to cry with us… All the rest of our lives we must live without him… One small misstep and now this endless neverness.”

If the ‘neverness’ of grief brings darkness, then it is the ‘alwaysness’ of God that lights our way through the darkness, even in the times that we cannot feel or see His presence. Grief changes our lives, but the one thing that it cannot change is God’s steadfast presence and unending love.

The Bible is full of the promises of God’s loving presence. Today’s Scripture verses in Lamentations 3:21-23, say, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” And in Matthew 28:20, Jesus said to his disciples, “I am with you always to the close of the age.”

The ‘alwaysness’ of God will light your way through any and every darkness you experience.

About Pastor Kris Linner: She has served as campus pastor at Boutwells Landing for the past two years. She is an ordained Lutheran Pastor who has spent her career in end of life care as a chaplain in hospice and long term care. She is caregiver for her 92-year-old mother. 


Light for the Way seriesThe Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care resources website
 

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

‘Thin places’
What does real wisdom look like?
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

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