The Weekly Epistle 4/10/24

“Good Grief,” Charlie Brown would often say in a moment of exasperation.   Good grief.  It seems to be an oxymoron.   How can grief be good? 

When Paul spoke of not grieving like those who were without hope, he wasn’t against grieving.  He was encouraging the believers in Thessalonica to hang on to hope.  Grieving over the loss of a loved one can coexist with hope that we will see that loved one again. 

Let’s face it, grief messes with how we want life to be.  Grief never feels good! 

Although grief is not pleasant, it is a natural and healthy response to loss and sadness.  It is actually good to grieve rather than push down those feelings of sadness.

Culture tells us to move past this process quickly. Take a few days, weeks perhaps, to grieve, but don’t stay there too long. Grieving can make those around us uncomfortable. Friends sometimes don’t know what to do with our pain. Well-intentioned people can often struggle to find adequate words. 

Yet grief, as painful a season as it is, is a necessary part of our healing. To run from grief is to run from the very thing that can bring healing.  Our grief has a purpose. Grieving is the process God uses to bring us to a place of wholeness.

Grieving can be the most difficult time for people. Trying to balance the feelings of pain and loss from now on with your everyday life. Give yourself space and time, be honest with your emotions, don’t grieve alone, and don’t lose hope.

We do look to that day when our God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (see Revelation 21:1-4). 

Until then, find comfort in the One who is “near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:18. 

My own heart is heavy.  As we go through this process of grief together, don’t lose heart.  I appreciate the honesty of the Psalmist who said, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:28).

Yes, He is! 

Leaning in on Jesus our true Shepherd, Pastor Brian