When I first lost my daughter to suicide, I felt like nothing could be worse. And so I began a game of thinking of situations which could be worse . . .
She disappeared and we never knew what happened
She was murdered and the murderer was never caught
Those two situations struck me as even worse ways to lose my daughter.
Of course, that kind of thinking didn't alter my pain and grief.
That's the way this verse about the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel strikes me. The writer describes the current situation as "bitterly hard times." The disaster spared no strata of society, from the lowest slave to the wealthiest landowner. Even worse, they had no hope of things getting better.
If they followed my line of thinking, as bad as things were, the only thing that could be worse would be total defeat and rule by another country.
Yes, things can always be worse.
What I find oddly comforting is the thought that even if this abismal situation, when the Israelites saw no hope, God showed them mercy. Instead of allowing the "even worse" to happen, he used a wicked king (Jeroboam II wasn't any better than Jeroboam I) to deliver them.
I take great comfort in the knowledge God will not blot out my name from the Book of Life. I belong to him today, tomorrow, and always. That even in my current circumstances, God measures the amount of grief I bear and surrounds me with hedges of protection.
Interesting that this blog post should come up on the day before Mother's Day. My son will probably spend the day with his wife and her mother. I have come to accept it. But Mother's Day has become a holiday I would rather ignore. I've lost my mother and my daughter, our three-stranded cord that worshipped and celebrated together. Without them, I feel naked.
Even on mother's Day--God fences me inside His green pasture and gives me cool water for my soul.