It feels odd to get back to life when it looks
unrecognizable. After the death of someone or a significant loss, how can we
get back to “usual” when “usual” doesn’t exist anymore? There is this empty
space where a person belonged and everything that went along with them. That void
takes your heart to the pit of your stomach at the very thought of their
absence. Life is supposed to go on but
it feels like it does so in slow motion.
There are stages to grief and I’ve read about them and gone through them but I think it’s
personal; different for each individual. I really don’t feel that psychology got the
science down to five stages and that’s it. I also don’t agree with people who
say that grief is an enemy and should be rebuked like the common cold. I know
that grief, left unchecked and uncommitted into the healing hands of our
Savior, can become a problem that shows up in many other ways. Nonetheless, the
scriptures give us permission to have a season to grieve.
We are humans that hurt; we feel pain. If we can’t feel pain ourselves then we can’t feel it for others.
God knew what separation felt like and made provisions for us to have a time of
mourning. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4) We have permission! We can
reflect, remember, and feel all our feelings and yet, are in the recuperative company
of the Comforter when we do so…we are never alone even when we feel like we are.
In 2 Samuel 12:23, David said something that was and is so significant. After the death of his son, he returned from
the tabernacle where he’d worshiped the Lord.
He told his aides, who were amazed by his resolve, this enduring truth
regarding the loss of his son, “I shall
go to him, he shall not return to me.”
One might ask, how could someone worship God after the death of their baby?
I believe David was thanking God that his sins were forgiven and that he had
the hope of heaven and would see his son again. That is something to think
about! What a hope we have…and that hope WILL be a reality! This life is but a
moment but eternity is FOREVER!
God’s word is tethered to our hearts in times like these…we
just have to tug! I can hurt but also proclaim, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) I
can also feel afraid…yes, I said it!
C.S. Lewis wrote, what I believe is a
definitive work on the subject of grief in, “A Grief Observed.” It was written
after the loss of his beloved wife and reminds me of a psalm in its painful
honesty and moments of questioning. He said, “No one ever told me that grief
felt so much like fear.” The uncertainty of life changing so drastically, after
loss, is frightening; the fear of an unplanned future that suddenly visited us
However, fear is one of God’s specialties! Just the faith of
a mustard seed can know He holds tomorrow and today and the next five minutes
we don’t think we can even breathe through. Jesus was called, “The Man of
Sorrows.” He was well-acquainted with grief and our sorrows cannot compare.
But, His love answered the distant cries of our hurting hearts and He bore it
all on the Cross…He didn’t have to but He did it anyway. In our hardest
moments, we can look to Him and that undeniable love and know He will give us “beauty
for ashes” and “that He heals the brokenhearted.”
What God gives in this life cannot be described, much less
comprehended. but it doesn’t end here… so we can’t act like it does. I have - I
admit it! In my life, there have been
those moments where I felt like I couldn’t take another breath…but I did and I
wasn’t breathing alone.
"Peace I leave with you: my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27