“Grieving is part of the healing process.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 26, 2021
By Guest Writer: Sharon Jaynes
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I [Jesus] will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:22
Grief is a natural response to a loss. It could be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, or the loss of a dream. Grief is a complex weaving of emotions that accompany the loss of what was or sometimes the emptiness of what wasn’t. I grieved that I did not grow up being the apple of my daddy’s eye. My friend Angela grieved the loss of investing in a thirty-five-year marriage that ended in divorce. Gail grieved the loss of her son in the chilling waters of the James River. Pat grieved the loss of her unborn child by her own decision. Grieving is part of the healing process.
In her classic book, On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross notes five stages of grief:
But for us who know Jesus Christ, there is a sixth stage:
Oh, sweet friend, Jesus died on that cross, but then he rose again.
Your dreams of what you had hoped your story would be may have died on the cross of unmet expectations or unwanted violation, but your dreams can rise again. They may even become someone else’s inspiration to rise up from their grave of broken dreams as well. Each of the women I just named mourned her losses but eventually moved on to write new chapters of her story. After a time, we all stopped lamenting what was not and started looking for the blessing of what is. That doesn’t mean we don’t miss the child or lament the loss, but we don’t stay stuck.
God said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king” (1 Samuel 16:1). It was time for Samuel to get out of bed and for God’s resurrection plan to move forward. God had chosen a new king. He was still writing Israel’s story. He was still writing Samuel’s. He’s still writing yours.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t hurt any longer, but that the wound no longer controls our decisions or actions. We’ve stopped slapping away God’s hand from the pen and look forward to seeing how he will write the rest of the storyline. Sometimes our healing process includes counselors or therapists, sometimes it includes medication to get us through the worst of it, but it always includes the healing of Jesus and our cooperation with the Holy Spirit to get back up.
Perhaps you need to grieve for losses in your life. Here are a few:
We grieve, but not as those without hope. When tragedy tears our hearts out, when untimely death cracks the foundation of our faith, when abuse mars all that is good, we mourn. We grieve the loss. But we mustn’t allow the story to stop there. I type these words with tears in my eyes because I have lived them. Hear me when I say, it’s going to be okay—you’re going to be okay. God has more to write. Resurrection is on the way.
I love that God spoke to Joshua in a time of disappointment: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).
Father, I pray that You will show me Your resurrection power today. Help me to not get stuck in the disappointing parts of my story, but to mourn the loss and then move on. Show me how to use what I’ve gone through to help someone else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
What loss do I need to recognize and properly grieve over?
Check out Sharon’s new book, When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories
5-minute video- Chandler Moore:
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