Christmas will be here soon. Of course, you know that. And you also know that some widows will also face their wedding anniversary, or birthday remembrances of being a mother with a husband, or perhaps the anniversary of the day their husband passed into eternity. I'm sure we've all wondered, "How can the happiest day of my life have turned into the most painful?"
God, you are the only one who holds the answer to that question. You have numbered our days, they were written in your book before they came into existence. You know. You care. You love us through it all. I praise you for the promise that although we are crushed, we will not be broken. You bring beauty from these ashes, and you will make the widow's heart sing.
In light of who you are then, and knowing that you abundantly work your will to break through these trials, I pray that the comfort and ministry of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of widows today would bring forth the following GIFTS.
I pray that you would strengthen them to - g - GIVe their time to others and take joy in their accomplishments.
Help them to - I - Invent meaningful ways to creatively celebrate your goodness in spite of their grief. Truly, your faithfulness is from everlasting to everlasting and your mercies endure forever.
Lead them and enable them to - f - FACe their challenges. Bring them tangible help and encouragement. Help them to realize and overcome temptations and self-pity.
Give them - t - TEnDERNESS that is tough and resilient. Tough tenderness to live each day to its fullest, to deeply love the people who are still in their lives; let their sorrow not be wasted, but fan it to a passion for living with honor and hope.
And finally, Lord, open their tear-filled eyes to - s - SEe your gifts each day. From the gentlest breeze, an encouraging touch, a comical pet, or the sparkle of tossing a coin in a Salvation Army bell-ringer's bucket, each moment matters. Each widow matters. They are here for a reason until the day you lead them home.
Through these gifts may they greet the holidays with Hope.