Apr 25, 2022 08:00am
Walking Through Grief-an Introduction

This introduction explains the author’s heart for those who grieve.

Grief is something everyone deals with at some point in their lives. We may grieve something as heavy and choking as the loss of a loved one or merely as stinging as a disappointment. We sometimes must wrestle with anguish at the gaping hole left in our hearts and lives, and other times we might just need a good cry to feel all better.

We all grieve in different ways and about different things, but grief is a process that can’t be skipped or hurried without doing further damage. And for those of us who know the Lord, grief can bring us closer to him and teach us to rely on him, to trust him. We don’t have to go through it alone, for he has promised to walk with us in those dark times . . . 

And there will be some very dark times. Depending on the nature of the death itself you might even have questions you will never have answers to. Enter God’s Word.

Several years ago a friend of mine lost her husband of many happy years. Her grief was deep and debilitating. I wrote this little devotional study for her to help her find the comfort that is in God’s Word. 

I’ve made some modifications to make it more general, but I share it with you now, written as if to a friend. May God bless it to speak to your heart or to share with someone you know who is hurting, when you don’t know the words to say.

If your grief is from something other than the loss of a person—a job, a pet, a dream, or any other situation that leaves you hurting—just substitute that any place I’ve written “loved one.” You will still benefit from this time in the Word, sharing your burden with the Lord, and seeking his face.

I will post it in three parts. Take your time and sit with the message the Lord gives you, meditate on the verses, and allow the Holy Spirit to comfort and minister to you. This devotional uses God’s Word so you can be reminded of his promises. The following is the first part of my letter to you as you begin this walk:

Dearest Friend,

My heart is so heavy for you. I cannot begin to understand what you are going through. I wish so much I could take it away. I wish I could say some magic words that would soothe and comfort you, but those do not exist from human lips. 

People mean well when they use platitudes; they don’t know what else to say and feel the need to say something. Those words sound nice until we are the ones going through the pain. I won’t repeat platitudes to you now. 

Besides, you probably already know in your head everything that people say about how your loved one is in heaven with Jesus or how they aren’t in pain anymore. What is impossible is to get your heart to be comforted by that. Sure, they aren’t in pain anymore, but you are! You are the one left to live here without your loved one and try to figure out how to create a new life that doesn’t include that person.

I know these blatant words are probably making you cry. It’s not my desire to cause you more pain, but it is okay to cry. And cry. Get it out. There are times when, for the sake of others, you hold it in, put on a brave face. But as you read this letter, as you talk to God, cry! It is part of the healing. 

Only God and time can heal you and oh how we all wish we could shorten that time and skip to the part where the pain ceases to be so acute and retching. Alas, God doesn’t allow us to do that, does he? Pain is part of this cursed world we live in. However, he does lend us his presence and his soothing grace to spread over our hurts. His Word shares comfort and provides strength and guidance during dark times. 

Maybe I’m being presumptuous to write to you like this. Who am I to give advice? 

I was twenty-four when my mom died. So young—the both of us. Someone marveled that I was “such a rock.” But just because someone looks together on the outside, doesn’t mean they’re not a drippy, gelatinous puddle on the inside…or that they’re even mentally present. 

I don’t have wisdom or special insight into grief. But through the trials I’ve had in my life, I have found comfort in certain passages of Scripture. So, I hope my attempt at ministering to you isn’t offensive. I want to give you some verses to look up and meditate upon that have ministered to me during times when I felt like the Lord was far away.

I’ve written them in this daily devotional format so you can read a couple each day and think about what God is saying and how it applies to or influences you. Keep a journal or notebook with you so if you feel him saying something special, you can write it down. It will bless you later to recall his message and see how your healing progressed. 

I have forgotten so much of what happened during my times of loss and pain, how the Lord ministered to me, how he used his people to be his voice and hands and feet. I wish I had kept a journal, so I’m encouraging you to.

I know it can be hard to go on every day. I’m sure at times it may feel pointless. There may be times you want to give up. But neither your loved one, nor the Lord, nor your family and friends want that for you. If you are having those types of thoughts persistently, seek help. Don’t let the thoughts grow and take you over.

I humbly offer you these scriptures I have chosen with the hope that they will bring you comfort, renew your strength, and turn your focus toward the God of All Comfort, for they are breathed directly from his heart.

(Walking Through Grief-Part One is next.)

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