Do not worry, saying, “What will we eat? or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For…your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

—Matthew 6:31-32 (NRSV)

In June 2016 Michael, my beloved husband of 37 years, passed away. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, given maybe 6 months at most, and sent home with hospice care on Friday. On Tuesday, he was gone and my life came crashing down. I felt buffeted by grief, pain, tears and loneliness. What’s more, I was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for the house, car and other aspects of the life we shared. I knew God was with me, but grief consumed me.

In January, a windstorm came into town, rattling windows, blowing leaves, and causing feelings of restlessness. I sat and watched the swirling and noticed that my bird feeder was being tossed by the wind. I thought, Lord, that is how I feel. I am hanging on and being rocked by all this wind of chaos in my life.

Suddenly, I noticed two birds feeding at the bottom of the feeder. In spite of all the swaying, they were calm. And then I felt God say to me, “Just as I am with these birds who are protected from the raging wind, so I have been with you, protecting you in this storm of grief. I have fed you with love, peace, support of family and friends, guidance and the presence of the Holy Spirit. I will never leave you or forsake you.” Whether in joy or in sorrow, we are not alone. God is with us.

Prayer—Gracious and merciful God, thank you for being with us in our joy and our sorrow. Amen.

Thought for the Day—Even in my deepest grief, God is present.

Nina Semingson (Washington)