WHAT KIND OF GRIEF ARE YOU SUFFERING?

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“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” (1 Petter 1:6 NIV)

Grief is universal.

All of us are grieving someone, something, someplace.  Missing something you can never have back again is how I define grief.  Everyone experiences loss.  As I get older, I understand more the loss of innocence.  Coaching children reminds me of how free I once was.  Watching them have fun helps bring fun back into my life.   Life’s problems replace our freedom.  We lose our unwavering trust for God’s provision we once had.   If we’re not careful, we get stuck in our grief.

Grieving is highly personal.  How someone responds to grief is how someone responds.  Allowing people the opportunity to work through their pain is pivotal.  As long as they aren’t doing any harm to themselves, give them space to mourn.  Some hurts take longer than others.  Time varies with each person, give it to them.  Just like Forrest Gump, eventually, they’ll stop running and re-engage with life. 

Without love, grief wouldn’t exist.

If we didn’t love people, places, and things, we wouldn’t grieve them.  Pet owners know this without a doubt.  Whatever your pet of choice, the love you receive from it is unconditional.  My two dogs, always happy to see me.  Wherever I go, they go.  When I feel blue, they cheer me up.  But their life spans are shorter than ours.  Very few live longer than humans.  As a result, our first experience with death is often of a pet.  

One of my most heart-wrenching pet stories involves a parakeet.  My friend’s kids were playing with the bird out of the cage.  A pot of water was boiling; the bird flew into it.  Birds, in a state of emotion, will accidentally perch or fly into boiling water.  The kids learned their first lesson, at a young age, about death.  If they hadn’t loved their pet so immensely, they wouldn’t hurt so profoundly.  Pain is part of the relationship process.  Better to experience the suffering than never loving.

“This is Us” is one of my favorite shows.  In a recent episode, one of the main characters, Kate, receives sad news.  As her brother tries to comfort her, her response surprised me. “No, I need to sit with these emotions for a while.”  I’m not sure if that’s exactly how she said the words, but that was the gist of the message.  We have to sit with our emotions for a moment, but then we have to stand back up.  Jesus will help, just turn to Him.

Allow yourself and others to grieve.  Rejoice for the love you had.  The deeper the passion, the more profound the grief.

Question of the Day:

What are you grieving today?

Further Reading: Ezekiel 44:1-45:12 NIV, 1 Peter 1:1-12 NIV, Psalm 119:17-32 NIV, Proverbs 28:8-10 NIV

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