Seven hundred and 31 days.

That’s how long it’s been since my life was impacted by sorrow in a way I’d never known before or since. In some ways it only seems like yesterday when I came home from worship that Sunday morning and found the lifeless body of my wife of 38 years; in other ways, it seems like an eternity ago.

But, the grief is still there. And, you learn to live with it by God’s Grace.

Since that day, a lot of water has gone under the proverbial bridge. I’ve gotten remarried. Gotten a new job. Moved to a different state. Made a number of new friends. And, learned anew that you don’t ever really get over your grief; you simply work through it.

One way you do that is by trying to move on. Pour yourself into your work or something that interests you. Get out of the house and find ways to help others — for one of the worst things you can do is sit at home and do nothing. The memories are too many and the pain is too great.

So, truly, one of the best "prescriptions" for grief-recovery is moving forward, although your progress at first may be a little slow. But, that’s okay; grief’s not something you want to rush. In fact, trying to do so can even make it harder to work through because you’re suppressing it or putting it on hold.

God was gracious to me, bringing someone from my hometown — my "roots" — back into my life after 38 years. He knew I needed someone to walk the next leg of my Journey with me, especially in ministering to others, and blessed me with someone who also loves Him and others.

Thank You, Lord.

Even so, the grief’s still there. And, contrary to what some often say, time isn’t the great healer; God is. It’s been two years since that life-changing morning when I found Margaret’s lifeless body in the bathroom, with a curler still in her hair and her make-up half applied.

I’ll never forget that morning. But, I don’t dwell on it — for doing so, even now, is too painful. Two years after the fact. And, I anticipate it’ll continue to be that way, especially around the holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, family get-togethers, etc.

But, that’s okay. God’s Grace is sufficient.

Thank You, Lord.

It’s amazing how memories will sneak up on you when you least expect it. The other day I was out deer-hunting … sitting up a tree some 15 feet off the ground in a climbing stand … when two red cardinals flew by and perched on a nearby limb.

Suddenly my mind raced back to those numerous bird feeders in our backyard and how Margaret loved watching them. In fact, the morning God called her home she greeted the dawn with her binoculars in hand so she could enjoy her feathered friends up-close-and-personal.

As I watched the beautiful birds, heartache rose up within me. How I missed my faithful companion of 38 years! But, that sorrow soon turned to joy as I remembered anew Where she is and the great Joy she’s experiencing right now with the One Whose Eye is on the sparrow.

Thank You, Lord.

If you lost a dear loved one or friend during 2013 — or, if you’re in the process of letting go of one right now — here’s praying "the God of all comfort" (II Corinthians 1:3ff) will hold you close right now. May His Love surround you even as His strong Arms enfold you.

And always remember: "Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). Because of Jesus’ Resurrection Presence and unfailing Promises I know I’ll make it.

Thank You, Lord.

God bless you.

To contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled "Morning Manna," write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at pressingon@hotmail.com.