Learn to grieve that which is lost. Then, reach out to Jesus in your pain. Jesus cares and will guide you to a new day.
Grief. Counselors and psychologists have tried to understand it. The cycle of grief goes like this: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. But you shouldn’t assume the process of grief to be exhaustive or even widely accepted. And you DEFINITELY shouldn’t consider it to be LINEAR.
I think of grief as the delicate art of letting go. Henry Cloud calls grief the “pain that heals”. It is the life experience that doesn’t happen to us but rather we choose to enter into. Yes, something had to happen to cause our grief, but grief is what heals the thing that happened. And God teaches us that we must enter it willingly.
Matthew 5:4 (NLT) God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
More than Death. When we speak of grief, we are talking about so much more than death. We can grieve and through the process, we can let go of all of our hurts and wounds. We can grieve ANYTHING that hurts. We just need to discover what was lost and let it go.
Jesus is the Answer for your Pain and the Conclusion of your Grief. Your grief will lead you to Jesus. And Jesus will lead you to life.
Luke 7:12-15 (NLT) A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. 14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” 15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
Bad Things Happen
Luke 7:12 (NLT) The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her.
A Widow’s only Son. Isn’t that heartbreaking? She has already buried her husband and now her son. But, she is also burying her future, her hopes, her dreams, her security and her financial means.
A Large Crowd. Funerals were a 7-day process at the time. Bodies were buried quickly. They were often anointed with fragrant oils and laid in a tomb of sorts. Friends and neighbors would prepare meals and visit for the next several days. Widows would often wear their grieving apparel and enter a period of mourning for a year or more.
They knew then something we don’t know now. Grieving in isolation is a bad idea. You see, tragedy will have one of two eventual outcomes: acceptance or crisis. YES, you can fail at grieving.
What’s Wrong with Being Sad? I wonder if there is a weight of unfelt sadness that prevents us from truly being happy. What if you could be sad, process the grief and then be done?
Jesus Cares For You
Luke 7:13 (NLT) When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said.
The Tenderness of this Moment. The first time I really saw this passage was a very difficult moment. Our oldest son had lost sight in his eye and we rushed to an eye clinic in Memphis. After hours of waiting and bad news, I pulled out my New Testament and began to read. My bible opened to Luke 7. “He saw her, and cared, and said don’t cry.”
The God Who Sees Me. Hagar called him El Roy. There was no reason for God to see her. She was awful to Sarah and she was just a mess. But God saw her. He saw Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho, who was trying to keep her family together. He saw Ruth, who had lost everything but wouldn’t leave her equally destitute mother-in-law. He saw Mary Magdalene tormented by 7 demons.
So yeah, He sees you. And He cares. And He is doing something.
Jesus Makes Things Right
Luke 7:14 (NLT) Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.”
He Makes the Dirty Clean. According to Jewish law, everyone who touched that dead boy was unclean (Numbers 5:2). If it has touched you, you can’t worship. No Passover. No temple, etc. You are unclean. There is nothing attractive or beautiful about death. There is nothing GOOD about death.
But when Jesus touches unclean things, He is so Holy He makes them Holy. He is so clean He makes them clean. And He is so alive that he makes dead people live.
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NLT) But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
This IS the Gospel. This is what the Gospel, Salvation is all about. It’s about living. You see this story shows you the story of God and Man in a snapshot. Humanity was dead in its sins. A caring Savior who interrupts the process, with compassion delivers us from the grip of death.
When Jesus Calls Your Name
Luke 7:14 (NLT) “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.”
Has Jesus Called Your Name? There are a lot of ways to be dead or to experience death. If you are dead in your sins, Jesus will give you life. If you are dead in your grief, He will give you a new day. You see, Jesus BEAT DEATH and Jesus will walk you out of the valley of death and into LIFE!
Will You Reach Out to Jesus Today? He cares. He can make filthy things clean. He can make sinful people holy. He can make dead people live. He will lead you to a new day.