He knows our pain - 19 February 2021

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Two tragedies back to back brought Stefan Lessing to a point where he wanted to end his life. He was heartbroken. Amidst his desperation, he experienced God’s grace, love, and healing. Here is his story:

Stefan: “Going back to the waterfall was a difficult decision. Something inside me, however, drove me back. I wanted to say goodbye. I wanted to try and make sense of the event that changed my life so drastically.

“A day before my son, Waldo’s 11th birthday, three months prior, he fell off the waterfall in a freak accident and died. I remember the shock and powerless feeling I had watching his body tumble down the abyss. What was meant to be an unforgettable father-and-son hiking weekend with friends ended in an event that almost cost me my life as well.

“Shortly after Waldo’s death, I laid in the bath thinking of ways to end my life. I was broken. Two years prior my marriage ended in divorce and with that, my dream to help people build healthy relationships. Now my son had died. I had many questions to God as the dark hole around me deepened. In the midst of my pain God reminded me of my two daughters. He gave me a renewed sense of purpose as I needed to live to be a father to them.

“Back at the waterfall, I stood and cried uncontrollably. As my brother and friends who went along comforted me, I suddenly became aware of God’s presence. For so long it felt as if no one understood my pain of losing my only son. Next to the waterfall however I suddenly realized that God understood. He lost His only Son. On the contrary, He gave His Son so that I too will be able to discover Him as my Father and that I can find new life in Him. Realizing that, brought so much healing and comfort in that moment.

“Today it is two decades later. Looking back I know that God’s comfort, love and grace carried me. It took me from a place of despair and pain to where I can share hope with others. Two years after Waldo died, I married Adele. Our three children are an absolute medical miracle as the doctors predicted that we would not be able to have any children. God is good and He truly is able to heal any broken heart!”

In Romans 8:28 we read: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him . . .”Also in Romans 8:38-39 we read: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Let us thank God that He gave us his Son. And let us remind each other that we can go to him in our desperation, disillusionment and hurt, knowing that He understands our pain and that He is able to heal through his love, grace and presence. God bless.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for being near me in my sorrow, disillusionment and pain. Please make me aware of your presence today. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen