Grief is not a state but a process—like a walk in a winding valley with a new prospect at every bend. ~ C. S. Lewis
I’m not an expert on grief.
Instead, I relay my personal experience in walking through the process of utter sorrow. A path of darkness I have trod. Or maybe it’s more truthful to say I kicked and screamed the whole way.
You see, I never wanted to learn how to deal with sorrow or grief. No one sets out to intentionally sign up for the class.
Still, sooner or later, we’re all enrolled. Sometimes sitting side by side trying to figure out how we go on. Wondering if there’s any hope that lies on the other side of the path. And do we really ever graduate with flying colors?
Today, I had another topic prepared to publish. A lighter and less dark topic. But in the early morning hours, I sensed God’s leading to change my plans.
Grief, a part of life.
A conversation. “But Lord. Just a few weeks ago I wrote about loss in my own life.” (God’s Love and Mercy Will Cease When Pigs Fly.)
He reminded me. That was then, this is now. There are new burdens My children carry.
“Then” was six years ago when we lost my father-in-law and my father. A few years later, our friend Jane passed away. On the anniversaries of their deaths, sweet memories mingle with the heartache of their absence. Every. Year.
And there have been other losses.
Between the pregnancies and births of my daughter and son, there was another child. A baby I’ll never know in this world. Loss through miscarriage. I don’t even know if we have another daughter or son. Or possibly two since I’m a twin, my mom’s a twin, and multiples run in our family.
But I do know this. Boy or girl, one or two, we will see the baby or babies in heaven one day. Life begins at conception. So, there’s no doubt.
The sorrow of grief.
Sorrow is not limited to death.
For me, loss has come in many forms. Lost jobs, hard ministry seasons, and fizzled dreams. For you, maybe these and others. A lost relationship, marriage, or friendship.
Look around you. Do you see the world in which we live? Many are carrying burdens and sorrows too heavy to bear. Stricken with grief beyond a capacity to understand or to stand up under.
“Now” happened yesterday. My husband’s family lost a young forty-year-old member, Jamey. Mike’s cousin. Jamey’s parents are grieving in an eerie numbness. His daughters are beyond sorrowful. The sisters and extended family carry the heavy burden of loss. Jamey’s friends try to grasp the harsh reality.
Hope in the midst of grief.
Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. ~ C. S. Lewis
The good news worth attaching our hope to? Jamey knew Jesus. His parents recount his salvation story. Jamey’s with his maker. His family and friends who know Jesus will see Jamey again.
Remember my opening statement that I’m not an authority on grief? I’m not, but I know who is.
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…” Isaiah 53:4 ESV.
A prophecy years before being fulfilled in Christ and past tense. God’s promises are past, present, and future tense. It’s comforting to know that everything foretold about Jesus not only came true but is often stated in the past tense of the verb.
Christ has “borne our griefs” and “carried our sorrows.” He’s already accomplished it. And while we can’t grasp the harsh reality of death, this promise brings sweet assurance.
Standing up under grief.
Jesus has already won the victory over grief and sorrow. Before He was born. Because He’s God and He can do all things. We don’t have to understand it to stand up under it.
Christ bore our grief in the past, bears our grief today, and will bear it tomorrow and next year.
He carried our sorrow eons ago—before we existed, before He came to the earth.
“…yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his strips we are healed” Isaiah 53: 4-5 ESV.
The blood of Jesus spills over into present day. He currently bears our grief, carrying each of life’s sorrows. Sill, it doesn’t make it easy, but it makes us rely on His strength and then becomes bearable.
Only in Christ can we stand under heavy burdens because we are standing on His promises.
Please pray for Jamey’s family. How can I and this community pray for you? What burdens do you presently carry? Tell us in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Adobe Spark.
© 2016 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved
September 8, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Uncategorized