Grief

“God blesses those people who grieve. They will find comfort!”     Matthew 5:4 (CEV)

If you have experienced the death of someone you love, lost your job, been divorced, or lived through a fire, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster, then you know grief. Walking through grief is the hardest work I have ever done. To know that God will put His hand of divine care upon me to help me in this grief work is one of the best promises He has ever made to me.

How will God help me?

First, God is always there. He is always willing to listen to me. I have even visualized Him sitting across from me and told Him everything that I was feeling and thinking. I unloaded on Him! His shoulders are big enough to take the load! My son died from cancer less than a week after Hurricane Ivan swept through our town. Our family had “above and beyond” support during his illness and death. After the funeral, people had so much to do in their own lives with the devastation of the hurricane. I felt alone. I wanted to talk about my son; the memories that I didn’t want to forget. Yes, there are support groups but I didn’t have the energy to go to support groups. Jesus was right there, 24/7.

Second, God has so much to share with me to encourage and strengthen me. Not platitudes. Good sound truths. He speaks to me through His Word in the Bible and in music and in my fellowship. It is so important that whatever energy I have, to use some of it to keep my connection to the Body of Believers. And when someone I know is grieving, I need to be willing to pick them up and take them to worship, doing what I can so they stay connected.

And third, Jesus promised me His Comforter. His Spirit will heal and give me peace and, yes, even answers, in ways that I do not have words here to clearly describe. He just does it! If you want to be healed (John 5:5-6). It is so easy to hang on to grief. I hang on because I’m afraid that if I stop grieving and find the joy in my life – then my loved one will be forgotten or my pain will be forgotten or whoever hurt me will be “off the hook”. Here’s the truths I have learned about that: I will never forget – unless I want to. And God will never forget. It is OK to let go of my grief. It is a healthy thing.

When David and his men came to Ziklag, they saw the burned-out ruins and learned that their families had been taken captive. They started crying and kept it up until they were too weak to cry any more.      1 Samuel 30:3-4 (CEV)

The person in the Bible that is described by Samuel the prophet (1 Samuel 13:14) and Paul the apostle (Acts 13:22) as the one who was after God’s heart wept until he had no more strength. Grief is a natural part of this life and an emotion that will be a part of my life until I join Jesus and there will be no more death or crying (Revelation 21:4) ever again. I look forward to that day. Until then, I will spend time every day with the One who has His hand on me and wants to comfort me.

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