“Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Living God,
You breathe in us
on all that is inadequate and fragile,
You make living water spring even
from our hurts themselves.
And through you, the valley of tears
becomes a place of wellsprings.
So, in an inner life with neither beginning nor end,
your continual presence makes new freshness break through. Amen”
(Brother Roger of Taize).
The Psalmist declares that God keeps a record of every tear you shed. He collects those tears in a bottle. God isn’t a stranger to your sorrow or taken aback by your tears.
He above all knows what great sorrow is. God in Jesus was the Man of Sorrows acquainted with grief. God knows.
All of us will at one time or another walk through that dreaded Valley of the Shadow of Death, either for ourselves or for a loved one. It will feel like the end of all our hopes and dreams. You will feel like you can never feel happiness or joy or anything else besides sadness.
But God walks with His children even in the deepest darkest valleys. Even there, He is with you. He will be with you from beginning to end and beyond.
Emmanuel means that God is with us. Always.