Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 2, 2010
“When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.” Matthew 17:22-23
Every minute a baby is born it fills family and friends with joy—simultaneously when a person dies it fills loved ones left behind with grief. Grief is a God-given emotion that everyone experiences when something valuable is lost, especially loss of life. An unborn child lost to miscarriage, a middle-aged woman’s terminal cancer or an old man’s heart failure, all result in grief for those who long to love them again. Grief hurts deeply.
So, how are followers of Jesus to process severe sorrow? How do we keep on living when a child, parent, grandparent or friend in now among the dead? Indeed, we let them down if we linger too long in despair, living as if there is no future hope after life. One way to honor the dead is to live well until we die. The loss of a loved one is a wake up call that our existence on earth is finite—we are called by God to live purposely for Him.
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (James 4:13-15, NKJV).
Furthermore, when friends or family are grieving, be patient and give them space to be with Christ in His compassionate consultation. It’s your loving kindness and care that warms them to reengage with life’s responsibilities. Some people snap back quickly, while others require a long length of time to process through their enormous emptiness.
Ultimately, only Jesus can fill the void of human attachment. When deep felt love is vacated to heaven, you need heaven’s help. Grief is not to be processed alone, but with Almighty God and those who love you dearly. Open your hurting heart to genuine love, but be wise to not succumb to a greedy or self-serving “friend” seeking to take advantage of your vulnerability. Guard your heart in your grief, but give yourself fully to God.
Remember grief is momentary, but heaven is forever. Life is like a drop of water in time, but eternity with Jesus is a sea of hope, healing and happiness. Through Christ you will soon be reunited with your spouse, son, daughter, mom, dad, brother, sister and friend. Use your grief to grow closer to God and to those who love you most. Grief gets us to God.
“Saul and Jonathan— in life they were loved and gracious, and in death they were not parted” (2 Samuel 1:23).
Am I allowing the Lord to love me through my grief? Who can I comfort that is grieving and hurt with God’s word?
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