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Finding Comfort During Grief
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 NIV)
Grief is inevitable. We grieve our loss – a child, spouse, parent, close friend, or pet. I have grieved many losses in my life – sister, marriage, father, friends, and many pets. It is important to understand that grief is a process and it never ends but does take one through different stages. It is a passage to go through but not a place to linger until the final stage of acceptance. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith and trust in God. Did Jesus not grieve when he learned that his friend Lazarus had died? As Jesus grieved the death of His cousin John the Baptist, He withdrew to be alone with the Father in prayer. Then, it is important to note that He then ministered to others. He allowed the love of the Father to flow through him to others even though He still grieved his friend. Grief is a clear and evident sign that love was present. Healing begins when we realize that
love is still present. God is love and understands our grief. He experienced grief over His own pending death and modelled for us the path out of sorrow – prayer. Jesus yielded to the will of the Father. His will is always greater than ours and is a plan for us to prosper and live life abundantly.
Upon deeper reflection, I now realize that grief for the loss of a loved one is perhaps selfish. We want to continue the relationship. We want to maintain the status quo. We think God should support our desires rather than we seek and support His will. It is very important to realize that it is not God’s will for a young baby to die, a young father to die in a car wreck, or other tragedy. However, He can and will use these tragedies as an opportunity to bring us into a closer relationship, and in a supernatural manner, He can and will make good out of the bad. The best response to grief is faith in our Lord.
Death is not the end. It is the beginning of a life in paradise with the Father. It is the end of pain for those that have been suffering. If you are experiencing grief, I encourage you to read Matthew 5:4 and then ask God for His blessing and comfort. Ask and you will receive. The Lamb of God will comfort you and draw you near. No, it won’t happen overnight, but day by day you will walk more in faith and the Spirit will grow in you. As the Spirit grows, the blessing becomes more evident and you will find comfort that surpasses all understanding.
Prayer: Dear God, we all come to you in different stages of grief. We rejoice that our loved ones are with You. However, we miss them. Send your Holy Spirit and remove our grief and fill the void with your love. We are broken as individuals but whole when we step out in faith and stand firm on Your promises. We thank you for your grace and love. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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