December 4, 2018

Grief Comforted by Tears

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 4, 2018

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Psalm 126:5

Several weeks after my father died, I went grocery shopping. The day had been going well and I was starting to feel some relief from the painful emotions associated with Dad’s passing. I shopped, checked out at the register, and left the store carrying my groceries in a large paper bag. On the way to the car, the sack ripped and all of my purchases fell out of the bottom to the pavement. I instantly crouched to gather my apples, broccoli, and soup and started to wail. Big tears rolled down my cheeks. Someone walked by. I wondered if they thought I was crazy. What woman cries when she drops her groceries? After a few moments I regained my composure, stood, walked to my car, and drove away.

On the way home, I realized my tears weren’t about my paper sack disaster. They were about the grief of losing my father. I was also reminded of something I had learned somewhere on life’s journey: Grief often comes in waves; just like the ocean’s tide, it rolls in and out. One moment you’re doing fine, smiling, and feeling like you’re finally going to make it through and the sun will come out again. The next minute, you’re bawling when the bottom falls out of your grocery bag and the waves of grief come rolling back.

No one wants to feel grief. No one wants to cry and be sad, but grieving is necessary to heal. Without allowing grief to do its restorative work, there is no healing for our broken hearts. Why? Because grief is like an open door. You let it out and God comes in to provide us with the healing we need. The person who does not know how to grieve—or does not give themselves permission to grieve—cannot know the tender comfort and healing God wants to provide in our most desperate times.   

When the waves of grief come rolling in, we have two choices: We can harden our hearts, develop a “stiff upper lip” and “suck it up” because that’s what we think strong Christian people do (and because it feels less frightening to be self-protective.)

Or, we can allow ourselves to fully feel the hurt and loss of what or whom we have left behind. If we refuse to grieve, the grief doesn’t go away. It just goes underground in our hearts and comes out some other way. . .maybe in anger, frustration, or depression. The person who knows how to grieve is the person who knows how to give their hurt to God to find His tender comfort waiting for them on the other side of their tears.  

In Psalm 56:8, the Psalmist wrote,

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

What a beautiful reminder that tears are precious to the Lord. He doesn’t despise weakness born out of honest heartbreak. He treasures your tears. In fact, He made your tears, and everything He made is good.  They are a way for you to release the pain locked in your heart.

So, the next time grief hits, when you lose your beloved pet, job, spouse, father, mother, and when you drop your groceries, instead of shoving your hurt down and deciding to “buck up and deal with it,” let your tears out. And when you do, call out to Jesus and ask Him to come and minister His healing tenderness to you.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Prayer

Lord, thank you that you understand my tears. You know what it’s like to be broken hearted. Thank you that you are with me when I cry. I love you. Amen.


Application

The next time you want to cry due to loss or pain, let it out. And when you are crying, talk to Jesus. Then, write down or share with someone else how He ministered to you when you were hurting.


Related Reading

John 11:35; Psalm 30:5; Ecclesiastes 3:4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4


Post/Tweet today

A grieving person gives his sorrow to God and finds His tender comfort waiting on the other side of his tears. #WisdomHunters #comfort


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Comments

  1. Anarosa Hernandez says:

    I have trouble believing in God now. We were a very devoted Christian household nice family with great careers in a good neighborhood. We are a very generous family often doing charity events and our home has always been open to all often providing lodging for people with no place to live. Then on a spring day my 13 year old took her life. So I struggle with where was God? Did God do this to our family? If God was there why not stop this insanity and intervene? Is God real but was not interested in answering our prayers or helping my child? Did my child deserve to die? But the doctors that ignored our pleas for help their children are still alive. Does God love their kids more? Is my pain, that consumes me, as a mother now without my child some type of righteous justice by God? Or is it that there is no God? If there is no God then it makes sense that this horrible terroristic attack on our once beautiful family happened out of the blue. There was no answered prayers by God despite my pleas. There was no God in her room when my Christian child completed suicide. Where is God now in my pain? Why come to my aid now the irreversible damage has already happened! What God would permit such an atrocity? Now I stand in a house that no longer feels like the home I once knew. I will never experience all the milestones that only mothers daughters experience together. My grief is beyond repair and Bible versus no longer comfort me. God has not provided any answers but I know that there is no right or riteous answer that would satisfy me for why my angel had to leave me so soon. I think now often that there are worse things than death and compared to grief death to me is now preferable and so now I finally understand my beautiful childs point of view something I always struggled to understand about her and I now i know the depths of her pain and waiting for God’s help. But no help came. God was not there.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Anarosa,
      Good morning friend. I have read your response to us a few times over and prayed about a reply back to you. First, I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. There are no words that I can say to even come close to comforting your deep hurt. I wish I had some “magic words’ to make you feel better or to answer these longing questions of WHY? but my feeling is that right now the best comfort I can give to you is to pray for you. Please Anarosa, may I pray for you and your family in the days ahead? As a mother to mother, as a sister in Christ to another sister whose heart is broken?
      The God that I am praying to is the same God you know but cannot hear right now. Make no mistake, sister, HE is still with you and feels your pain. He does know this pain, He lost a child, too, and His Heart was broken.
      I am not going to list verses for you that will comfort you, not now. But when your heart starts to heal (and it will) please know that those verses are part of the love letter God has written for us.
      Anarosa, I which I had some answers to your questions. I do not know why your sweet daughter died or why children get cancer or why we have lost those sweet children in school shootings or any of the horrific things that hurt us so. But what I do know is this: The God of the universe walks with us during these times. He is real and only He can give the Comfort and Healing your heart needs. How do I know He is real? The Word tells me. When you think about it, this world had a deliberate Designer who not only created and designed this world but is sustaining it!
      But, I am not sure you want to hear that right now. Right now, please know you, my sister, are being prayed for to the One who cries with you, the One who knows your heart and the One who feels, truly feels, your pain. This I know for sure.
      Please Anarosa, in the days ahead, let us know how you and your family are doing and we will continue to pray for you. My email address is
      gwynne@wisdomhunters.com and I would love to continue our conversation.
      Praying for strength and comfort and thanking our God for walking beside you,
      Gwynne


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