A Glimpse of Grace in Grief

We all face moments of frustration, disappointment, grief, and despair. In these times, it is vital for us to remember God’s faithfulness in the past and to trust Him in the moment.

Scripture tells us that His ways are not ours. He uses difficulties for His glory and for our good. My greatest lessons have been learned in the hard times.

My mother became ill in June 2012, just before our son’s wedding. As we waited with her in the hospital, my father insisted that I go on to the wedding and trust mom to God’s care. I went not knowing if she would still be living when I returned. She did live for another week, and I was there to sing her into heaven.

Her funeral was one week before I was scheduled to take a team of six women to Malawi to teach pastor’s wives at the Baptist Seminary in Lilongwe. Though I was grieving, I was determined to make the trip. One of our team members was taking glasses to give to a Lion’s Club in Malawi, and I grabbed my mother’s reading glasses at the last minute to add to those we were taking.

Once in Malawi, we combined the glasses team members brought to take to the Malawi Lion’s Club. My mother’s pair were in a bag in our room. When it came time to meet the Lion’s Club group, that bag was not to be found. I fretted but we went on with all the others that we had.

The next day at the seminary, as I was teaching from the Sermon on the Mount, participants were asked to read verses aloud. When Mary was asked to read, she said, “I can’t see to read my Bible anymore.” Knowing my mother’s readers were still available, I went back to search again. The bag was located, and we took these glasses to the seminary. We had several pairs of readers in the bag and the pair Mary chose was my mother’s.

What a thrill to hear her read her Bible aloud that day in class.

I tell this story as a reminder to you and to myself to remember when things don’t go as planned, God has another plan and we must trust. Had my mother’s glasses gone to the Lion’s Club, I am sure someone would have been blessed, but not nearly as much as I was blessed to hear Mary read her Bible through my mother’s glasses.

Joy Bolton served as Executive Director-Treasurer of Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) from 1999-2018. She is currently the volunteer International WMU Coordinator for WMU, SBC, and stays in contact with WMU leaders around the world. She is pictured above serving in Liberia in August 2022 at the Baptist Women’s Union of Africa Continental Conference. She and her husband reside in Charleston, South Carolina (USA), near their grandchildren.

You might like

Trusting God for Healing

Trusting God for Healing

Even when facing a health crisis with her young son, Jacklyn trusted God to lead their family to a place of hope and healing.

Standing Against Injustice

Standing Against Injustice

Even when facing political turmoil and displacement, Vernette sought God’s help to forgive those in power and to shine a light on the darkness facing Myanmar.

God Made It Possible

God Made It Possible

Even in a season of financial difficulty, Shanrica trusted God to both sustain and provide so that she could continue her education. Read her story.