Updated: Apr 2, 2020
I recently came across a quote by Lysa Terkeurst in her book “It’s not supposed to be this way” that read, “Even the most grounded people can feel hijacked by the winds of unpredictable change. We feel weighed down by grief while at the same time unable to get our bearings as the weightless ashes of all we thought would be fly away.” For many of us, in this season that is anything but normal, you might feel that weight of grief. Sunday services are online. Proms, tournaments, and special events are cancelled, and your potluck dishes for bible study turn into meals for one or two. It can be hard to let go of these events that we look forward to, we expect even, and while you are sitting in your living room thinking about the flight you should be boarding, it is hard to feel anything other than loss.
Navigating this as a Christian can pose additional unsettling feelings as well. You might think “Shouldn’t I trust the Lord always? I don’t need to grieve when I know he is in control, right?” And yet, there it is, staring you in the face, the same living room I am spending oh so much time in when I should be in someone else’s living room across the ocean. I feel the loss of time with family, I feel the loss of adventure, I feel the loss of normal with more and more sameness.
You can find grief all throughout the Bible. Psalms 22 is literally titled “Why have you forsaken me?” In Jewish culture, Psalm 22 was a common lament that was echoed by Jesus while he was on the cross. I happen to think Jesus was purposeful in showing us His lament. If Jesus, who is completely man and completely God can cry out to His Father, then so can we. In fact, there are countless verses about how Jesus is close to the broken hearted (Psalm 34:18), and in Matthew 5:4 even blesses those who mourn! I would encourage you to read through those Psalms, as they can put language to feelings you may not have even known you had. Take your moment to grieve, have your minute, a day perhaps. To deny your grief is to deny the emotions given to you by your creator.
One of my favorite people, Dr. Glenn Packiam, author and pastor at New Life Downtown, said that in times of grief, or sorrow, or pain, we should remind our souls of what holds more truth than what is around us. So family, let us look at His truth.
2 Timothy 4:17- But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength…and I was snatched clear of the lion’s mouth.
Daniel 3:29- There is no other God who is able to rescue in this way.
Haggai 2:4, 5, 9- Yet now be strong…work for I am with you…my spirit remains in your midst…and in this place I will give you peace.
Luke 6: 37b-38- ...forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Proverbs 11:25- He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
The truth my friends, is that the Lord is with us, He cares for us, He loves us, and He wants us to encourage one another. Lysa Terkeurst says “If the enemy can isolate us, he can influence us”. Reach out to your friends, love your neighbors, encourage your family. Ann Voskamp, author of “Be the gift”, says. “Maybe there is a comforter who holds us gently in our brokenness…which is very different from a comfort zone that’s a death trap to break us.” Perhaps, Christ is pulling us out of our normal, to teach us, or to heal us. In Revelation it says that He is making everything new. Perhaps, He wants to make something new of you.
“Now, may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” -1 Thessalonians 3: 11-12
We are for you.
Jesus is for you.