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Christian Life: Handling Grief

In another recent post, I wrote about the need for urgency in our Christian lives. Recent events in my church are more evidence of that. One of our pastors lost his wife to a battle with Cancer. She was only 38. After being diagnosed in early February, she made her journey to Heaven last week, only about ten weeks later. The family, consisting of husband and four children ranging from 10 years old to only a year, mourn for her now. A few of the couples in our small group knew the family, and are in mourning, too.

This tragedy hit me different this year, as many things have since the birth of my son. I didn't know the family much, outside of having met the pastor once or twice in passing. I'd never met her, but her story is making waves in my mind. The beauty of the Lord's blessings are that even amongst such pain, loss can mean so much gain. Her life and the example she left from her last days has now impacted my family, the families of our small group, and I'm certain hundreds of others in our church. How do we as Christians view handling this grief and making steps forward in a Biblical way?

First, know God is present.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 NIV
man dealing with grief

In these circumstances, it was only natural that we would talk about grief. Somehow, we were also scheduled to talk about Genesis 49 and 50, where we see the passing of Jacob and Joseph. These chapters bring up the mourning that Joseph experiences over the loss of his father. Throughout the sermon, our pastor made note that Biblically speaking, mourning is permitted, but when you mourn it is for you, for the person you are mourning is now celebrating in Heaven.

This subtle reframing in your mind is an important one, and one that can empower you to move through your grief, instead of letting it control and damage you. While the loss we sustain is great, the gain in Heaven is greater. We as Christians should do our best to reflect and celebrate the time we were able to spend together here, as we rejoice in knowing we have a home in the eternal.

You can see more evidence of this in John 16:

"So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." John 16:22 NIV

You will experience hard days handling grief. There will be dark moments. But don't let those moments remove you from seeing the bigger picture of God's kingdom and the celebration that comes along with it. You may have lost someone here, but you've gained an angel above. You have gained a forever partner, and this is something worth celebrating.


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