Today’s Truth

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 16:8

Friend to Friend

Danita is a friend who experienced a tragic loss. Her husband Dave was a military officer stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. An avid runner, he was the picture of good health. Over six feet tall, his tanned, athletic build never failed to take Danita’s breath away.

Like every other married couple, they had their issues, but they strived to live together as one. Early on they surrendered their household to the Lord. Faith, friendship, and fun were the foundations of their home and the cement that held them together during difficult times.

In October 2003, Dave had been wrestling with some issues of spiritual surrender about the possible relocation of their family. At their Wednesday night church service, God got ahold of Dave’s heart, and he couldn’t wait to tell Danita about it. When they sat down after putting the girls to bed, he told her he’d turned the details of his new orders over completely to God and was finally at peace.

The next morning, Dave woke before the sun and began his morning routine while Danita slept. Just before he left to go to work, Dave tenderly kissed Danita. As their lips met, he whispered, “Goodbye. I love you, babe,” then walked out the door.

If only Danita had known that would be their last kiss! She would have pulled him close, held him tight, and gazed into his amazing blue eyes. She would’ve taken a long, deep breath to fill her senses with the aroma of his cologne, taken in his presence, and savored his warmth. She would have told him she loved being his wife and was ready for their next great adventure together.

When the phone rang at 7:30 a.m., Danita was startled. It seemed a bit early for the phone to ring. A secretary from the naval base said, “Dave has collapsed! The military EMS have been called, and we need you to meet them at the hospital!” The words pierced Danita’s heart.

The drive to the hospital was quick. She ran inside the emergency room, only to find that the ambulance hadn’t arrived yet. As she hurried back to the parking lot, a passage of Scripture flooded her mind. Danita began to speak Psalm 63 out loud.

As soon as she spoke the words, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you,” Danita knew in her heart Dave was gone. Her soul felt it.

Minutes later, a screaming siren announced the arrival of the ambulance. As the medics ushered Dave into the emergency room and worked feverishly to resuscitate him, Danita rushed to be by his side. An emergency room nurse pulled her away and insisted she sit in the waiting room.

Friends arrived, but Danita couldn’t speak. She sat silently, as every fiber of her being screamed, This can’t be happening! Dave is a rock. He’s a healthy man. He’s too young to die! Lord, please don’t let him die!

Before long, Danita was called to the back where an emergency room doctor told her Dave had died. The weight of those words hit her with the impact of a bullet shot at pointblank range.

She asked her best friend to come back with her to the room where Dave had just been pronounced dead. Danita spoke to her husband through shaky sobs as his body lay lifeless. She touched his skin. The warmth was gone. She kissed him on the cheek and held his hand one last time. Dave was with the Lord now.

Danita needed fresh air. She needed to think, to pray, and to wail.

It all seemed so crazy. She’d arrived at the hospital a happily married woman and was leaving a heartbroken widow. She navigated through the foggy crowd of supportive friends, made her way to her car, and headed home.

The drive home was almost too much for Danita to bear. The sun shone brightly as she passed cars filled with people going on at the speed of life while her life stood still.

Once home, she headed straight to her bedroom. She cried out to God, “How will I tell Kelsey that she’ll never see her daddy again?” And He answered her. A devotional she’d been reading the night before lay open on the bedside table. Highlighted on the page were the words of Psalm 16.

As devastating as Dave’s death was, there was something special about the security her soul felt as she sobbed. God’s Word attended to her desperate hunger. A strange peace embraced her. Despite the circumstances, her soul was oddly satisfied. She was not alone. She knew her Lord had not abandoned her.

He was with her on the bed as she cried.

He was with her on the wood floor when she fell to weep.

He was with her in this very broken time.

Danita’s appetite for God’s provision has skyrocketed. She’s never known a greater need for God’s strength to come alongside her weakness. For His hope to come alongside her despair. For His peace to replace her fears.

Through it all, Danita has felt the far-reaching, compassionate, and loving arms of God embrace her in every painful moment. He comforted her each time she cried out to Him in the numbness of despair.

Our loving Father is keenly aware of your circumstances and your needs too. The Scriptures show us time and time again that God hears the cries of His children. “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)

What are you hungry for today? God longs to be your portion, to meet your essential needs, to be strong in your weakness, and to satisfy your deepest hunger. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Please teach me to trust in you so that when the unexpected storms of life come, I will expect peace in the midst of those storms (Mark 4:37-40) knowing that you are near, you hear my cries, and you are with me and for me. Thank You, Lord.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Psalm 16 and Psalm 63:1-8. Grab your journal and write out any verses that your heart needs to know and remember. Share them in a post on social media. Leave them as a comment on my blog.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion is an excerpt from Gwen’s book Broken Into Beautiful. Every step of healing begins with the heart of God. If you’d like to learn more about how your brokenness can be transformed into a picture of God’s beauty, get your copy today. To order the book go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit Gwen’s web store.

Get 20% OFF Gwen’s BROKEN INTO BEAUTIFUL book today when you order from her website and use the code: 20OFF

11 Responses to “When The Hurt is Horrible”

  1. Karen Cochran says:

    With some changes here and there, the name in this post could have been Karen. My husband of 17 years died of a sudden death heart attack while building a deck in our back yard. He was 45 and I was 43. Realizing something was really wrong. Calling for the rescue squad. Rushing to the hospital. Receiving the news that he had died. I experienced all the feelings described in this passage. Without my faith, my family, and my friends, the journey with my 9 year old daughter would have been more devastating than it was. The Lord carried me when I didn’t even know where I was going. Thanks for the reminder. It is good to remember our strength in the Lord.


  2. Leslie Griffin says:

    Love the devotions ….

  3. Mandy Bragg says:

    Good Morning,
    I have lost someone so special to me. It was not my spouse, but my grandmother, who has been in my life every day. I either talked or visited as much as I called. You are never prepared for that call saying your loved one has died, not matter what the physicians or hospice social workers say. I needed this devotion and scripture today. My appetite has diminished, and I am a big girl! And I will get through with the Lord’s help,
    And will pray for the women mentioned here today.

  4. RW says:

    i was sobbing as i read this. the pain we experience in this life often feels so unfair. but I know our Lord and Savior experienced worst. God promises to always be there but what happens when you don’t feel His presence? its those moments that makes it harder to believe he’s really there. But, He is.

  5. Sheryl Haase says:

    I too lost my husband unexpectedly this past December. I left for work and he was sleeping. We texted thru out the day. When I got home from work he had passed. No warning! He was by himself at home. My sadness is still very much part of my life. I didn’t get to tell him good by, or that I loved him one last time. God has been a comfort; but the raw emotions are still there.

  6. Bridget Fendler says:

    I too remember the feelings of nonbelief. I was lucky my doctors allowed me and my children to be right there with my Joe. The pain fresh still, he was only 52 and we had wanted that time together just us, but I was lucky I held him I told him how thankful I was for our time together and blessed to have been so loved and wanted. I got to say thank you for he brought to my life. Good or bad we had each other. its not how hard the journey is it is who you are taking it with.

  7. Delores Swearing says:

    I am so grateful for this devotional, it helps me more than you can imagine. Two weeks ago February14 ,2017 my son ,23yrs old committed suicide .I cannot explain the pain or emotions but I find comfort in the word of God.

  8. Leni says:

    I WILL CLING TO YOU..psalm 63 v 8…. wonderful truth when all in confusion and hurt we have to cling tightly onto our Rock amidst the storm and so wonderful that in this all our loving Lord is all powerful as our refuge, provision and strength. I am learning not to depend on feelings for quick escape route and that God is my all in all and not just my emergency button! thank you again for your wonderful ministry and blessings to you all.

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