One promise from Scripture, found in Isaiah 54:4-8.
Three widows, encouraged by the promise of the One.
Only six months after my husband’s death I learned that a former classmate’s daughter lost her husband of three months. She asked if I would meet with her daughter to counsel her; so I agreed. Because I had been in her situation, I was anxious to comfort rather than cause her more distress. God’s words would comfort better than my words.
First, as I drove to meet them that Saturday afternoon I prayed the Lord would give me just the right words to say and the right time to say them.
Second, I prayed she would both receive and retain whatever He chose to have me say.
Because we lived an hour apart, we met outside of Starbucks in a town between our homes. Sadly, I recognized the dazed look in her young eyes; I saw the same hollowness when I looked in the mirror the day my husband died.
Although fragile, the new widow recounted the story of her husband’s death. Rather than ask questions, I listened. She asked how she was supposed to go on with life?
Once again I prayed for help. Suddenly, the words I had been waiting for became clear to me.
“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called.” Isaiah 54:4-5 (ESV)
Tenderly I reminded her that though she lost her earthly husband, there could be no greater Husband and Provider than the One who gave her life. Confidently I promised her He would be faithful and never leave her. Finally, I hugged her and also promised to continue to pray for her.
The young widow was encouraged by this promise from God.
After church the following day I drove to a beautiful mountaintop wedding. The bride was the daughter of a dear friend whose husband died the year before mine.
Because it was the first wedding I attended where the father was deceased and therefore not present to give the bride away, I visualized that same future for my two unmarried daughters. I was understandably emotional. While I allowed myself a moment to experience pre-grieving of events that were not even on our calendar, I also recognized the need to focus on the present event. I needed to pray for my friend as she watched her daughter walk alone to meet her groom.
Before the wedding began, my former classmate called. Excitedly she gave confirmation to the Scripture I shared with her daughter the day before. She shared that when they arrived at church that morning their pastor announced that he would be preaching from Isaiah 54.
Her daughter leaned over and whispered to her, “Your friend was telling the truth. God will be my Husband and my Provider.“
Hearing words of confirmation encouraged my heart.
The wedding was beautiful, yet so hard to watch as the bride walked toward her husband without her father. During the reception I shared with her mother the events of the day before and the confirmation phone call.
Consequently, the mother of the bride was comforted and encouraged to hear that Scripture as well.
God’s Word does not return void.
I could not help but praise God for His timing and His care to put that particular passage on my heart as I talked with the young widow. As a result, one promise from Scripture had now blessed three of us.
Even saying the word “widow” was hard for me in the first days after it became my reality.
But the more I studied God’s Word the more I realized that to Him, a widow holds a special place of tenderness and concern. Therefore, I learned to lean into His care! Now I embrace the word for what it embodies about God’s character.
Widows are a priority with God!
Due to your circumstances, perhaps you are struggling to believe that you matter to Him.
Never doubt that He will be your Husband and Provider. In the same way, remember He keeps His promises!
Father, widowhood can be scary and lonely. There are decisions to be made and work to be done and sometimes it seems that no one cares. Thank You for reminding us through Your Holy Word that You are our Husband and Provider. And no one could care for us more than You do. Help us remember that and to cling to your promise. Amen.
Terri Oxner Sharp is a wife, mother, grandmother, homeschool teacher, and a writer for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. Her first husband passed away suddenly in 2012. She gives God all the glory for how He has grown her spiritually on her widow journey, in preparation for her new journey into a blended family. Terri and her second husband live in Arkansas with the final child still living at home from their combined family of seven children, two son-in-loves, and two grandsons. She loves to be with people who love to laugh, enjoys spending time with their grandchildren, who know her as “GiGi”, and feels called to minister to other women who find themselves bewildered to be on a widow’s path as well.
If you are interested in having Terri or any of our writing team speak, please contact us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.