GRIEF

Losses cause grief. Grief can hurt like a gaping wound and sicken us like a terrible plague. The loss of anything or anybody we love or really care about triggers grief. And loss in our lives—expected or shockingly unexpected—is inevitable. Because it is, it often presents us with the primary challenge that ushers in a spiritual revolution—either for the good or for the bad.

For many of us, hurt, loss, and tragedy stay on the level of raw pain. The only improvement in our condition comes from ordinary support systems and from the passage of time.

Others of us choose to keep all that is sad or bad at a level below our active consciousness. That way we lessen the intense hurt we feel, but at the same time we cancel any real growth. Then we do not truly suffer — we merely hurt for a while.

Resources available from Care and Kindness Ministries are in the form of articles that Jim Kok has written, relevant postings from our 'Thoughts from Jim' column, recommended books written by Jim Kok, and helpful scripture verses.

John 11:32-36

When her sympathizing Jewish friends saw Mary run off, they followed her, thinking she was on her way to the tomb to weep there. Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, “Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him. He said, “Where did you put him?”

Master, come and see,” they said. Now Jesus wept.

The Jews said, “Look how deeply he loved him.”

 

Matthew 5:4

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

2 Corinthians 5:1

We know that our body—the tent we live in here on earth—will be destroyed. But when that happens, God will have a home for us to live in. It will not be the kind of home people build here. It will be a home in heaven that will continue forever.

Psalm 23 1-4

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through the darkest valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.

Psalm 30:4-5

You who are faithful to the Lord, sing praises to him; give thanks to his holy name! …Weeping may stay all night, but by morning, joy!

Psalm 147:3-6

He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and assigns each a name. Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what he knows and does. God puts the fallen on their feet again and pushes the wicked into the ditch.

OFFERING CARE TO THOSE SUFFERING GRIEF

Pain doesn’t affect everybody in the same way. All human beings have the basic potential to grow spiritually from disappointments and devastation. But not all possess the mental resources, vocabulary, and insightfulness necessary to think about life below the surface. For many of us, hurt, loss, and tragedy stay on the level of raw pain. The only improvement in our condition comes from ordinary support systems and from the passage of time.

People need intimacy, not answers—that is what we must remember when we are trying to comfort someone who is hurting. Perhaps the reason that the simple gift of intimacy is so difficult to give is that it is best given with silence. However, when we are silent in the face of suffering, we run headlong into a terrible feeling of helplessness. If we talk or actively assist, we feel helpful; just “being there” confronts us with our own weakness and dependency.

 

Resources available from Care and Kindness Ministries are in the form of articles that Jim Kok has written, relevant postings from our 'Thoughts from Jim' column, recommended books written by Jim Kok, and helpful scripture verses. Draw from them to better equip yourself to offer help, love, and support to others.

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