Grief comes in all shapes and sizes, is processed through various stages, and is experienced in very unique ways based on our individual personalities.
Grief can take our breath away; leave us feeling deeply sad, shocked, fearful, angry, guilty, and even regretful. When a tragedy occurs, we experience a multitude of emotions, some overwhelm us with very little warning or understanding. While we all process grief differently, it’s critically important to actually process it and not pretend the pain and hurt doesn’t exist.
“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4 (NLT)
God’s Word encourages us to grieve, mourn, and allow ourselves to feel our pain. Many of the Psalmists describe periods of deep grief and cry out to God for relief and deliverance. David often cried out to God with specific needs and found comfort in knowing God was always there to listen and encourage him.
“Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes.
My body and soul are withering away. I am dying from grief;
my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength;
I am wasting away from within. But I am trusting you, O Lord,
saying, ‘You are my God!”’ Psalm 31:9-10, 14 (NLT)
I have experienced many depths and stages of grief in my lifetime; some so intense, it took years to ease the pain. When my parents passed away it literally took my breath away. For me, some of the most difficult aspects I’ve coped with during the death of a loved one was accepting I wouldn’t hear their voice, feel their touch, or see their face again –on this side of heaven. I grieved when I lost my grandparents, I’ve mourned over the loss of close friends, and I’ve grieved over the end of close relationships, lost opportunities, and broken promises.
Grief, no matter how great or small is very real and something each of us will experience many times throughout our lives.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18 (NLT)
Another reality we must consider is Satan’s desire to keep us in a state of mourning. Satan wants to steal, kill, and destroy our ability to recover from our grief and keep us from experiencing the joy and abundant life God offers.
So what can we do in times of mourning to restore our joy?
- Pour our hearts out to God for He is our refuge (Psalm 62:8)
- Allow time to heal the intensity of the pain (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
- Reach out to others for help and comfort (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
- Trust God in all things – past, present, and future (Proverbs 3:5).
God didn’t create us to walk through life alone and He doesn’t want us to stay in a place of pain forever. Remember: God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 9:12), His comfort is real (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), He can use all things for good (Romans 8:28), and there is hope for our future (Hebrews 10:23). With God, time, and intentional effort, our joy can be restored and our futures can be bright.
Are you currently grieving? How do you intend to strengthen your ability to heal?