Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

8 Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

II Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Isaiah 53:3a He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.

Isaiah 66:13a As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Deuteronomy 33:27a The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.


MEMORY VERSE: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 8:38-39


CENTRAL THOUGHT: When we are overwhelmed by grief, our God has promised to be with us, and He Who is acquainted with grief has promised to comfort us, strengthen us and never forsake us.




Psalm 42:7 “Deep calleth unto deep…”: afflictions and sorrows, like the deep waters of the sea, that come pouring in, one upon another; or like the roar of torrents of a swollen river; or like the writhing, twisting funnels of cloud over the sea, which suck up water and then pour it out in a sudden deluge.

Psalm 23:4 “Valley of the shadow of death”: a narrow gorge or ravine. The picture created is that of Death personified, standing between the sun and the valley, casting the shadow of darkness on the inhabitants.

Matthew 5:4 “Comforted”: to call near.




1. Promised: List the promises God gives in these verses.
2. Waves: Share how this word describes grief.
3. I Will Draw You Near: Tell how God has done this for you.




The valley of the shadow of death can be long and wearisome, with hours of toilsome care, gradual loss of mobility, body functions, and mental awareness. Painful, restless nights and the equally painful loss of personal dignity and privacy because of terminal illness can wear away faith and courage. Watching a loved one waste away can be such a shock to your system. As the physical body deteriorates, what better comfort and assurance can we find than in the truths from God’s Word? These, found in the Bible or in inspired songs, are the truly lasting, enduring realities.

Others walk the valley of sudden death. A stroke or heart attack, or a fatal accident. Short term illness that we thought God would surely heal. Hopes are crushed and everything seems out of control. I’ll never forget the agonizing words of a widow: “How could something so cruel be God’s will?” Again we have God’s Word; His promise that He is still with us. Little drops of comfort and discoveries that God had made preparation for this terrible suddenness long before it happened.

The Bible describes death as an ENEMY—an enemy that we all have to face many times in our lifetime and finally with our own mortality. Death’s mortal thrusts are many. Shock. Stunned, vacant silence. Anger. Grief for what we didn’t get to enjoy with our loved one; emptiness in the place of what was our very life and joy. Hopelessness as we face the future. Yet we know, because of the abiding Comforter, He carries us, and we are not alone. We do not sorrow as those who have no hope, because Jesus has taken away the sting of death, which is sin (I Corinthians 15:54-57), and gives us a wonderful hope because of these words: “And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:17).

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Had you brought up the subject a year ago of losing a loved one soon, I’d have met it with a significant degree of resistance. The thought was simply too awful to entertain! I could only quickly shove it aside with an “I’m not crossing that bridge till I get there” attitude. Well, God saw fit to allow that “bridge” in my path sooner than I’d expected. But the good news? He had no intentions of me crossing it alone. He was standing right beside it, waiting to accompany me—just like He’ll always be, for any “bridge” we may face in life.

This first time to ever lose a close loved one wasn’t sudden. That was God’s mercy, easing me into this inevitable part of life. In January of 2017, my grandpa developed congestive heart failure. As I began facing the reality that I might have to say goodbye unless the Lord raised him up, something amazing took place. That reality began losing the unbearable awfulness with which I’d always seen it before. And, strange as it may sound, the dread began being replaced by a sort of anticipation. Anticipation in that I was eager to see how God would carry me through this part of life. It’d be totally new territory. But I just had this assurance, that God would be right there for me through it all.

I must further clarify the anticipation. As I watched Poppa face this battle, I saw God drawing him closer to Himself in a way almost too special for words. As his physical life and strength drained, his spiritual life and determination escalated. He was choosing to leave himself in God’s hands, placing his trust in the One he knew had the perfect plan. That was a great part of the reason I could look at the situation more with anticipation than dread. I knew Poppa was in the best place he could possibly be. And if God chose to take him, I knew exactly where he was going. That was the safest feeling! I knew, too, this parting would not be final. Should I have to say goodbye now, it would only be for a time. I simply can’t explain the comfort that brought!

By the time God decided to take Poppa home in April, I can truly say that, somehow, I was ready. Not that I’d never miss him. I knew that would invariably come. But God had been preparing me! During those months that in some ways dragged on and in other ways flew by, God was working in my life, to show me that He was there. There for Poppa, in body and spirit, as he faced the sickness; there if it came down to death. As he clung to the Lord more tightly than ever, He didn’t let him down! And through it all, God showed me He was there for me. To carry me through, to give comfort and assurance, and to bring that peace that truly “passeth all understanding.”

Through the loss, my eyes were opened to a little secret. In the past, I’d only been an onlooker to losing close loved ones. I saw others’ grief and didn’t know how they could bear it. I couldn’t imagine how I ever could! But what I found: God has a special grace He’s faithful to pour out in those special-needed times. Others looking on may be able to perceive and share our sorrow, but not that special grace that’s feeding us. Because it’s just that—special; there only when it’s needed, and specific to the person needing it. Should another later face the loss themselves, I believe it will be there for them, too. I found that special grace to be very real and personal.

After Poppa passed on, heaven took on a little different light to me. No longer did it seem quite so beyond reach and realization. I found a new little “connection,” that someone I closely knew and loved (not just someone else’s loved one) was up there now. And with that came the reassurance that, if he could indeed make it, so could I!

I know every loss and each person facing it is unique. But I believe God longs to pour out His love and power to each one, very personally. It was all new to me, yet I can say that “yea, though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, He was with me.” I’m very thankful God proved Himself faithful to me through it all. It gives me courage to face the coming months and years, whatever they may hold, as I know that His faithfulness will continue.

—Sis. Kendra Cole, Neosho, MO