Lay it to Rest
My biological momma died when I was just a toddler. I did not know her well, but I do know she was kind and that she loved me more than her own life. I ran past my grief when it came to mourning her. I convinced myself that I was okay because I was so small when she left to be with Jesus. A funny thing about grief is that everyone deals with it differently, but we cannot run fast or far enough to escape it.
Last month I went back to visit her grave and I stayed all day. I just sat there and wrote and cried and told her stories about my life and all that she has missed. It has been quite some time since she went away, but the pain felt brand new.
During my time there, a family drove up, following a hearse. My heart ached for them. Though my loss felt new, their’s actually was. I watched as tears fell and hugs were shared. They sang a song and spoke a prayer and then, they laid the body to rest.
After they left, I felt the Lord teach me a valuable lesson in a very observable way. Once the family drove off after whispering their last “goodbye,” a process began. I sat and watched as strong men lowered the shiny casket into the six-foot deep hole in the ground. Then, with heavy machinery, they placed a large granite stone on top of the casket. They then proceeded to move a truck over to pour the dirt in. Step by step the burial- the laying to rest happened. Each part was necessary, just like each step in our journeys are.
As I struggled with circumstances in my own life, the Lord spoke in a clear and ironic way. He whispered the words, “Lay it to rest.” I realized that grief does not always end with a grave but that I have to lay some things down in order for Him to work. Just like I watched those men go through the process of burial, sometimes we must walk through that painful process of laying whatever we are carrying to rest. When we put it in Jesus’ hands, we surrender control.
I am reminded of the beautiful resurrection story of Easter. Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42 “…Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” He didn’t want it. The process was painful, but He walked through it and took every ounce of agony for you and for me. The process did not end with His death. He was laid to rest. The provisions were made. The burial process ensued, and the grieving began.
The beautiful part of this story is that it did not end there. Jesus was laid to rest, but three days later He rose again.
As much as we like to know every detail, sometimes the Lord is simply commanding us to “lay it to rest.” The situations, the struggles, the doubt, the fear, the longing, the good things, the bad things, the things we cling so tightly to. He is the resurrection and Life. He longs for our surrender. It is up to Him to choose what He creates, what He takes away, what He buries, and what He resurrects. Sometimes He chooses to leave things in the grave other times He restores and breathes new life. Either way, He is right and He is faithful.
What do you need to lay to rest today? Trust the Risen Savior with every part of your journey. The process might seem daunting and long-lasting, but He is with you every step of the way. Stop trying to fix it or control it all. Let Him be God, as you lay it all down.
Rachel Skirvin is a lover of travel, nachos, and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling and human services and is currently serving at The Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida.