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Foundations

I’ve always regarded myself as a pretty private person. You might say ‘typically British’. I like to think of myself as social and enjoying the company of others, but I would always most enjoy the comfort of home.

When my wife Rachel died suddenly in July 2019, I quickly realised how much of that home comfort I had been drawing from our little family unit. I enjoyed being at home because I wasn’t really ever on my own, I had Rach and the children. So much of my contentment was in just knowing they were there and enjoying spending time with them.

I came to see how easy it was to depend almost entirely on my family unit for all my peace and security in life. I shall be eternally thankful for a wife like Rach, she was so kind and loving and was the most wonderful mother. So to lose her so suddenly had the effect on that security of a sandcastle being washed away by the waves. In an instant so much of what I was depending on for a happy, peaceful life was destroyed.

Being in the hospital on that awful Saturday morning as the reality of Rachel’s passing sunk in, I was faced with the question ‘What now? How will I ever go on?’.

Amazingly I wasn’t left with that question hanging for long. I asked the nurse with me to read some verses from Romans 8 and the last verse she read was this:

“We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

For Rachel, even death could not separate her from the love of God, and she was now in his presence experiencing that face to face. As I clung on to that wonderful truth, I came to see that that verse also applied to me.

Thinking through my life, of all the things I had or will ever enjoy in this life, of all the things I will find peace and security in, one day they will all be gone, they can’t offer me lasting peace. All except one, God’s love for me. Reflecting on that verse, I realised afresh that he’s shown that never stopping, everlasting, keeps going to the end kind of love by coming into this world and dying for me. And through that love I can know peace and contentment even in the most harrowing situations of life.

So did that mean I could skip out of that hospital, smiling, without a care in the world? No way. The pain of losing Rach so young is a pain which will never go away. I have shed many tears since. But I can live through the pain of my circumstance knowing that I have a foundation which can never be shaken. I can and will always run to my heavenly father, whatever the situation, and know I will always always be picked up and carried through the darkest of valleys.

There’s a song I was introduced to recently which I love because it succinctly summarizes this far better than I can. It’s called ‘Shepherd’ by City Alight:

Though I walk through the valley and I can’t see the way
When the shadows surround me, I will not be afraid
For I know You are with me, You will always provide
Though the path may be lonely, You will stay by my side
I will rest my soul, I’ll trust in You alone

For the Lord, my Shepherd
Leads me, leads me
And He is all I need
In the darkest valley
I know, I know
My Shepherd is all I need

Lord, I know that You seek me when I’m trying to hide
And Your love it pursues me all the days of my life
I will rest my soul, I’ll trust in You alone

For the Lord, my Shepherd
Leads me, leads me
And He is all I need
In the darkest valley
I know, I know
My Shepherd is all I need

I rest my soul, in You alone
You light my way, You lead me on
I rest my soul, in You alone
You light my way, You lead me on

For the Lord, my Shepherd
Leads me, leads me
And He is all I need
In the darkest valley
I know, I know
My Shepherd is all I need

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1 Comment

  1. Alison

    I enjoyed reading & listening to this modern take on my favourite psalm. Thanks for sharing it Jonny and your faith in God’s love even in the deepest depths of sadness. 😊x

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