GRIEF – it’s a complicated human experience, isn’t it? There is no immunity shot to prevent it or lessen its impact on the body, mind and spirit. How would you define it? The dictionary says it is, “intense mental anguish, deep remorse, acute sorrow”. To grieve is “to be sorrowful to lament, mourn”. Whether the cause is death, loss, pain, illness, disappointment, divorce, financial reversal, the uncertainty of change, or many other life events, the reality is that we actually need to grieve and to mourn. While some view crying, one of the outward signs of inward grief, as a sign of weakness, in reality it is actually a very healthy way to express the sadness and longings that sweep over us when we experience very conflicting emotions. The process of healthy grieving will gradually release us to find renewed energy and a deep sense of acceptance and peace.
You may remember the beatitude that Jesus expressed to the crowds, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”. The Message translation expresses it this way. “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and His rule.” You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by The One most dear to you.” Those are truths that only take on real significance when you and I choose to live them out in real life. It has been aptly said that “when we lose what is most dear to us on earth, we value our heavenly Father’s embrace even more. His embrace is more dear, more precious, more spectacular than anything we could possibly have lost.”
Is it possible to experience joy right along with deep sorrow? To feel delight when it seems that there is little hope? The answer is found in knowing that our God is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.” (II Corinthians 1: 3 – 4) It is often in those moments of solitude and reflection on His promises that you and I can find once again the confidence to move forward and to begin to feel joy and delight in Him rather than in our circumstances.