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Grief With Hope

8/10/2015

 

This month we wanted to continue sharing on the tender issue of Grief & Tears. Many of you have commented on how these thoughts have been encouraging, and helped others see the need to show even more tenderness and mercy towards those walking through the difficult journey of loss.

Psalm 119:130 says, The teaching of Your word gives light. We ALL need enlightenment in areas we don't understand or haven't experienced, and we trust these teachings will help us be better representatives of God's love & compassion towards the hurting.

Last month we showed you several examples of great Godly people who wept, so that you would not feel condemned if you find yourself there as well.

Just this week we spoke with our dear Uncle who lost his wife un-expectantly. While sharing the story he cried many times, which broke our hearts hearing his pain, and we all ended up weeping together. What a precious man he is, strong and yet very tender. Those kinds of tears are hard, but healthy.

In my journey, there have been many times I'd find myself missing my departed son for several days. It would slowly keep building up like an ache in my soul until I had to just stop and let out a good cry. Interestingly, after crying I felt much better and strengthened and could move forward in life and ministry. (They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Psalm 126:5)

An example of this happened one morning as I sat out on our deck under a patio umbrella to spend some quiet time with the Lord. As I was praying, my soul was deeply moved and I began to really miss my son. Almost without any warning I began to break on the inside and sob like a baby. It was very unexpected.

As I continued to weep, a morning rain shower began pouring down around me. Thank God for the umbrella or I would have been drenched! In a way it seemed as though the heavens were weeping with me, but then I noticed all the beautiful plants and trees being so refreshed by the rain from heaven.

As I pondered how the rain was giving life to the earth, I was also impressed that even my own tears would bring new life and healing on the inside of me. Then the Lord showed me how these tears would also bless many as we reach out in compassion to comfort others with the same comfort we have received.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God has been helping us help others as we endeavor to be transparent about our loss. SO MANY have been affirmed and are so thankful there are those of us who understand, and are giving voice to what they are going through.

When someone walks through this "valley of death," they feel alienated and abandoned. Some friends become silent because it's awkward and they don't know what to say. Thankfully Jesus understands all of our pains and grief, but we are HIS hands and feet and need to reach out and love the bruised and hurting, letting them know that it's OK to cry and hurt for a season.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven...
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

1 Thessalonians 4:13 says, We do not grieve like people who have no hope, but it does NOT say WE DON'T GRIEVE. We DO grieve, but differently. We know how blessed our loved ones are to be in Heaven with the Lord, and we know we will see them again one day. We know this. Nevertheless we still miss them terribly on this side of eternity, and that is to be allowed - NOT to be discouraged or ignored.

Grieving as a Christian is surely a very different journey than for an unbeliever, and frankly I cannot imagine going through something like this without Jesus. We would not have made it without knowing the Lord is by our side walking with us through this valley, carrying us at times, comforting our broken hearts, as well as knowing the reality of Heaven and Eternity.

Lamentations 3:20-24 says it so well:

I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies
never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, 'The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!'

We all look forward to Heaven where God will wipe every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain. (Rev. 21:4) But until then, remember this:

~He blesses those who mourn
~He comforts those who are in trouble
~He collects all our tears in His bottle, and records each one in His book.

With love,

Watch Charlie & Jill sing and teach on the subject of God's love and healing broken hearts when they visited Charis Bible College in March 2015.




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