The Weight of Grief
Pain is common in our human experience. So common, in fact, that if we live long enough, we will all experience it. Whether it comes in response to sickness, death, or deep disappointment, no one is immune to the effects of grieving. Grief is a normal response to loss. If we deal with it in a healthy way, it can be a tool that God uses to strengthen us and make us more like Him. But the tragedy of grief is its ability to destroy a life. Our grieving process—how we respond to the pain that we face—will determine whether grief makes or breaks our lives.
The Apostle Paul in his second letter to the church at Corinth described his situation as causing him so much grief that he was in despair even over life itself (2 Corinthians 1.8). Here was a man who, because of his pain, didn’t care to live any longer. Yet, in almost the same breath, he describes God as the “Father of mercies and God of all comfort” who comforted him so that he would be able to comfort others.
Where Jesus Comes in
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah describes the promised Messiah as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Who better to walk with us and comfort us in our pain, than one who knows what we are experiencing? With His help, and the help of those who care about us, we can learn to deal with our grief in a healthy way that makes us more like Christ. In his book Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas asks an important question. What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? We should ask a similar question about our grief. What if God allows grief, not because he doesn’t care about us, but to make us holy?
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