It’s been a grieving week.
I miss the presence of someone who belongs in my life very much and it grieves my heart daily that things between us are so stuck. I continue to pray and cry and praise God in the midst of the challenged relationship, but sometimes the sorrow floods over me.
And a few days ago, a dear friend went home to Jesus.
While I’m so glad for her to be in God’s presence, and so is her family, my heart breaks for them. She was a wonderful woman who befriended me, listened well and spoke volumes of wisdom in few words. Even though I moved away, she still held a special place in my heart. She will be missed greatly by all who knew her.
I’m so thankful for a God who understands our sorrows.
The Bible says that Jesus was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3) Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died (John 11:35) and for the lost people in Jerusalem (Luke 13). When it came time for him to be taken and crucified, he prayed in anguish.
God says those who mourn will be comforted.
Jesus came to bind up the broken-hearted. God saves our tears. There’s an entire book in the Bible called Lamentations. Wailing and tearing their clothes was an outward show of inward grief for the Jewish people.
So why do we believe grieving is a sign of weakness?
I’ve felt foolish when I’ve needed to grieve in the past. As if tears and sorrow over a loss or trauma was not acceptable. Okay, maybe a tear shed and then, move on. But I’m learning that true grieving can look as different as each of us is unique.
Maybe we need time alone. Perhaps we grieve best with a friend simply sitting with us. Some people need to be held. Jesus went off by himself to pray to his father when John the Baptist was killed.
God’s presence is the best place to grieve.
God knows what each of us needs. Whether it’s a hummingbird or ocean waves, a mountain climb or glassy lake, he knows what comforts us. He may send a breeze, a friend with a hug, or a verse on a card. And he knows how long we need to process our grief.
Let’s not rush it.
I love that Jesus prayed for us before he died. He warned his disciples that they would weep and mourn when Jesus left them. But I love that he also said their grief would turn to joy.
Grief can’t turn into something else unless it’s grief first.
The only way for us to find joy again is to grieve first. When we grieve, we’ll be comforted. God will heal our hearts. And finally, our grief can turn into joy. God says that sorrow lasts for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
There is a time to grieve. And a time to rejoice. Sometime we can do both at the same time. My friend is with Jesus so I rejoice for her, but I can also grieve the loss of her here. My heart breaks over my relationship that isn’t reconciled, but my God brings me joy every day.
I’m learning that grieving is good.
Thank you, Lord, for understanding our sorrows.