Christians can be some of the most encouraging, helpful people on earth. But when it comes to grief, we have a lot of work to do. Since my grandma died last summer, I find myself stumbling across Christian blog posts and advice about “overcoming grief” or “finding joy” instead of pain.
It can be very tempting to encourage others to fly past their grief. Believe me, I know. But it does more harm than good. I don’t want to blame my fellow Christians here though. I think American culture has ingrained a tough, busy exterior in us that doesn’t really allow the process of grief.
But did you know that it’s okay to grieve? In fact, it’s even Biblical!
Jesus Knows Grief
He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:3 NKJV)
Jesus is described as one acquainted with grief–a Man of sorrows. Our God knows what it means to bear grief and sadness. When Jesus came down to earth, He was met with a mess of pain and suffering. Our grief.
Our greatest comfort should be in knowing that God understands our mourning. To grieve the loss of someone is to express your love for them. And since Jesus is love, He wants that affection to pour out of us through our loss.
There’s a Time to Grieve
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NKJV)
The Bible tells us there is a time for everything. Life isn’t just one big party (I know, surprise), and there are times when it is appropriate to feel sad. The wonderful news is that grief doesn’t last forever. Though we may always miss our loved ones, God does give us joy and laughter in time.
Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 NKJV)
Not only is it okay for us to grieve, but Jesus actually gives those in mourning a blessing. God sees our troubles and sorrows here on earth. His heart breaks for us, and as long as we stay faithful, we will be rewarded for our season of grief.
There’s Hope in Grief
Jesus wept (John 11:35). This is a famous Bible verse because it is so short, yet so moving. Jesus was heartbroken when his good friend Lazarus died. He knew He would raise him from the dead, but His overwhelming love for Lazarus and his family broke through in tears. Yet there is hope in the final victory of Lazarus’ resurrection.
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NIV)
There’s hope for you too, lovely one. If you’re grieving a loved one right now, please know that you have hope in Jesus. He is our greatest comfort, and our only hope for eternity with those we’ve lost.
When I lost my grandma, it hit me in a way I never expected. I was in shock and tried to bury the pain for months. I ended up having panic attacks from the trauma of watching her pass over, which made me feel even worse.
The same questions kept playing like a broken record inside my head. Why was my grief so different? Why couldn’t I just cry for a month and get better like other people?
I truly believe that God was trying to teach me a lesson about grief and how it can draw us closer to Him. Sometimes things happen in life that bring us to a place where all we have left is our faith. These are the moments God wants to use to invade our lives.
It’s okay to grieve. You have permission to cry, panic, or be numb. It’s okay to not be okay, to miss someone.
The important thing is that you don’t lose sight of Jesus. He’s there to hold you and walk you through this season of pain. With God, we have all we need to mourn victoriously.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts or prayer requests in the comments below 🙂
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