May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
The statue pictured above was created by Albert György and is titled Melancolie. György’s intention was a simple depiction of great loss and grief. But, like any good piece of art, the statue is capable of speaking beyond the creator’s inspiration and finds its way into the viewer’s heart.
On Facebook, a gentleman named John Maddox wrote this in connecting the statue with the loss of a child, “We may look as if we carry on with our lives as before. We may even have times of joy and happiness. Everything may seem ‘normal’. But THIS,
‘Emptiness’ is how we all feel…all the time.”
I utterly relate to it.
However, I don’t want to become bitter or hardened by the ongoing difficulty of losing Asher to apparent apathy. Instead, I want to press into a God that loves me and truly is concerned with every up and down in this battle for redemption. And so, I’m reminded of Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was dismissed from his church in 1750 after losing a congregational vote for loss of confidence. Edwards! But rather than sulk and become embittered that years of faithful preaching were to be rewarded with rejection, Edwards turned to the Rock of Ages and the firm knowledge that the sovereignty of God is not a thing to be feared but a very great comfort.
Dane Ortlund wrote this about Edwards and his dismissal:
…fate is impersonal; divine sovereignty is personal. And the Person controlling all things is Love himself. The very existence of the universe is, according to Edwards, the overflow of joyous love within the Trinity, a love too great to be restricted to God himself, superabounding, creating a world so that humans can be swept up into this love. That is the One providentially ruling all matters great and small.
So, when ordinary faithfulness earned him the rejection of his church members instead of their embrace, Edwards did not go into psychological meltdown. He already had a deeper embrace, held by one whom Edwards knew ordered all things. When 230 people voted to fire him, Edwards knew that it was God dismissing him from Northampton Church. Why get bitter at the people? A greater mind was ordering his life. God’s love was working through their hate.
When my son tells me and Joseph that he doesn’t know whether he is interested in working towards reconciliation with us, why get bitter with him? God’s love is working through Asher’s hate, and I will trust that it is for my good.