We Do Not Grieve As Those Without Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 2 Cor. 1:3-5

 

Recently I have experienced more grief for others than I have in a long time. The question of “why is this happening to this family” or “why can’t I be closer in proximity to this loved one” comes up in my head. And then I think, “how can I even begin to understand what this person is going through”, “how can I, a 23 year old girl who has never experienced deep tragedy, even know the words to say”.

And yes, I know all the answers to these questions too. We don’t always know the “whys”. We don’t have to have the right words. But I do know it is right and good to grieve with a person. We know that all things work for the good of those who love God. In the end, even tragedy will bring glory to God.

I am realizing that this is also the path God has called me to as wife in ministry. We will have to sometimes carry the burdens of others and will feel it deeply. Really, we all should do that as Christians. But I have seen it over and over in my own family growing up. The pastor is often the first responder on the scene right after the police or EMT. They are often one of the few in the room after a grim diagnosis has been given. They are often the first to be called when a loved one has died. And yes, they are at the grave burying that tiny box with mother weeping close by. If a pastor is there, the wife also carries the grief and burden.

You don’t always think about this in Seminary. In this world, you seem closed off to the realities of ministry and then when on the field you question, “why didn’t they teach us this in seminary”. But reality is you can’t teach from a text book the proper response to a mother’s grief. You can’t teach how to minister to someone who can’t even eat due to deep anguish. But we do know the truth and as my mom told me, “you can’t always tell them the truth in the beginning of grieving but you can demonstrate it.” When tragedy strikes, its not words but actions that mean the most. Whether that’s providing a meal, time to listen, a phone call to check in on them, this is what lasts.

Times like this make me feel so inadequate to the task I have been called to but oh how it makes me run to the Father who mourns with his children, who is the God of all comforts, who understands our emotions and can turn our hearts to the truth of His word. That is the only thing that can sustain a person this side of Heaven. Grief and tragedy have a way of making us long for Heaven and the return of Christ. It reminds me of the sinful, fallen world we live in and the hope we have that carries us through.  Even so Lord Jesus come quickly.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Rom 12: 9-15
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15: 54-58
Advertisements

One thought on “We Do Not Grieve As Those Without Hope

  1. Good word! You find your own comfort and courage in the word and in prayer to the Father, then you are able to minister to others. These times are growth for you and for all of us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s