So I’ve taken a couple of weeks off of talking about GriefShare. Our last session was on getting “stuck” in grief, which wasn’t a message that really resonated with me. When the words don’t come naturally…I typically don’t write them. Last week we had an off week, so here we are at Week 10 of our 13-week program.
This week we talked fairly generally about preparing for times when grief may be harder (holidays, birthdays, and “firsts”), events and activities that may become more difficult in grieving (church, family functions, socializing) and how we can use prayer and God’s word to overcome.
What I want to talk about, though, is how we can turn our grief inside out. How we can take it from a “me” thing to a “He” thing (I’m lookin’ at you, God). How we can help others in and through our grief and, in it all, point to Jesus.
I’m a highlighting, underlining, asterict making kind of note taker. And there was a quote from this lesson that got all of the above:
“I’m not supposed to be just a container of comfort; I’m meant to be a conduit of comfort.” – Dr. Paul David Tripp
I am not sure I fully subscribe to the often overused notion that “everything happens for a reason.” You will not find those words anywhere in scripture. And from experience, I can confidently say they do not provide comfort in a time of loss and mourning. I think bad things happen to good people because we live in a fallen world. That being said, God does give us A LOT of insight and wisdom in scripture that we CAN cling to in our grief:
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4
“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” – Psalm 119:50
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” – Jeremiah 29:11
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
We are blessed in our mourning. He holds us close and heals our wounds. His promise gives us hope and the strength to press on. And even if we can’t see it — His plan is for us.
And then there’s this…
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
With the comfort we receive from God, we are called to comfort others. Whoa.
This may seem overwhelming uncomfortable downright scary. But here’s the thing – we all have something to offer.
Need some ideas? Do something you wish someone would have been done for you. Share something that was a comfort to you. Do what feels natural – cook a meal, send a card, plan a coffee date – this will look different for everyone. And, just maybe, push through even if it feels uncomfortable. Because it’s not always an easy thing to do. But in all these things…point to Jesus.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8