PREFACE: In an earlier in post, I determined to share about different areas and seasons in our life that often need holy intoxication. When we allow ourselves to become inebriated with God’s Word and fully embrace it, we experience divine liberation.
The death of someone we love shatters our life in ways we never thought possible. When my dad was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, I thought the foreknowledge of his impending death would help prepare me for the inevitable. I thought wrong.
Nothing prepared me for the overwhelming sense of void as I watched him take his last breath. Certainly Mary, the mother of Jesus, felt the same pangs of loss as she heard her son cry out, “It is finished!”
When a deep connection with someone is severed either through death, divorce or separation, grief kicks in. It’s a God-given defense mechanism that helps us cope with the crippling avalanche of emotions that put our life on hold.
So, what is God’s scriptural cocktail for dealing with loss?
- Allow yourself to mourn. Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that there is a time for everything, including death and mourning. Sin brought death to man in this life but the Cross of Jesus brought eternal life for those who accept its redemptive power.
- Jesus understands the depths of human sorrow. He wept and was deeply moved when He saw Mary and Martha’s sorrow over the death of their brother Lazarus. Jesus already knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, but allowed Himself to feel and express the crevasse of human sorrow.
“When Jesus saw Mary’s profound grief and the moaning and weeping of her companions, He was deeply moved by their pain in His spirit and was intensely troubled.” John 11:33, VOICE
- God has instilled within the spirit of mankind a natural grieving process that defies race, language or cultural boundaries. He promises to lead us through the “shadows of the valley of death”.
“He was… a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” Isaiah 53:3
Documented succession of the grieving process includes: Shock, depression, reality of the loss and recovery. It is no respecter of persons.
- As a believer, God infuses your grief with faith. That’s powerful! God has promised to be with us in our darkest hours which include our times of grief. God longs to give us comfort, but we must reach out and accept it.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” II Corinthians 1:3-4, NLT
It has been nine years since I lost my dad to cancer and feel confident I am in the recovery stage of my grief. Moments of intense sadness have diminished and the emotional void is being replaced with cherished memories.
I find comfort in the knowledge that Jesus is intimately acquainted with grief, disappointment and heartache and forever with me in every season of life.
“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever (forever with me).” Psalms 73:26 (NLT)
Know this: Grief will visit us all at some point but God keeps track of all our sorrows, He collects all our tears in a bottle and records them in His book. I’m not sure what book, but I can only assume it is the book of OUR life on earth.
That’s how much God loves us. He even keeps record of our tears. His love for us is amazing!
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.“ Psalms 56:8 (NLV)