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Strength in Times of Loss

by J. M. Farro on August 27th, 2023

   “I am sad and tired.  Say the Word, and make me strong again.”  Psalm 119:28 ERV

   This month, our “miracle duck,” Larry, would have turned 23 years old.  If you have been reading my writings for very long, then you know how the Lord has used this precious pet of ours to teach us valuable lessons about love, life, and the kingdom of God.  Larry’s breed of duck typically lives, at the most, six to eight years.  So you can understand why people called him our “miracle duck.”  Our vet liked to say, “Larry is defying science!”  How true that was.

   Sadly, the last year or two of Larry’s life were not easy ones.  He was blind, he had a double heart murmur, and he could hardly walk.  He had gotten used to Joe and me carrying him around, something he would never have allowed us to do when he was healthy and proud.  In his old age, I got to hold him, hug him, and sing to him daily.  He and I grew even closer during those last two years.

   Seeing Larry suffer made me begin praying for him to die quickly and peacefully.  As he continued to hang on, our twelve-year-old grandson, William, asked my husband, “Grandpa, why do you think Larry is still here?”  Joe’s reply was, “Maybe he doesn’t want to leave us.”  As I pondered Joe’s response, I began whispering to Larry, “It’s okay to let go.”

   One morning, I was asking the Lord to take Larry from us, not knowing that at that very moment, Larry’s life was ebbing away.  Only an hour or so later, Joe discovered Larry’s lifeless body, and both of us began sobbing as we held him for the last time.  Gone forever was our little “miracle duck” who had been a member of our family for almost 23 years.

   As I sought the Lord for comfort and consolation, He led me to a verse of Scripture in Psalm 119: “I am sad and tired.  Say the Word, and make me strong again.” (Psalm 119:28 ERV)  As I prayed this verse back to the Lord, I heard Him whisper to my spirit, “YOU say the Word.”  I knew then that speaking the Word of God in faith to myself continually would minister the comfort and strength to my heart that I so desperately needed.  I began saying, “I will not grieve or be depressed, for the joy of the Lord is my strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10 AMP)  The more I declared God’s promises to myself, the stronger I felt, and the easier it became to think about Larry without sobbing my heart out.

   If you have suffered a loss of some kind, and you are feeling “sad and tired,” declare God’s Word to yourself night and day, and let it be a healing balm to your hurting soul!

   Lord, in times of sorrow, please help me to turn to You first for wisdom and healing.  Remind me of Your precious promise which says, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13 NIV)  Thank You that as I continually “say the Word,” You will “make me strong again”!  (Psalm 119:28 ERV)

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