What to Do with Grief


Grief is just love with no place to go.

– Jamie Anderson

We grieve because we love. Love, is not painful but to love is to put ourselves at the risk of pain. Grief visits us at the departure of our beloved and the separation can be life-wrecking and sometimes, life-ending. Death can be sudden or through a long-lived illness. And as certain as it is, death always catches us off-guard for nothing could ever prepare us for the loss of those we love.

Renowned Christian apologists have often referred to grief as the dark night of the soul because in grief we are not only separated from those we love but we also feel separated from God. We feel forsaken of Him, as though He does not care. “How could a good God allow my child to die?” “If God was loving then my father wouldn’t have died.” But all our ardent prayers for relief and mercy seem to fall on deaf ears. The valley of the shadow of death is indeed a dark place for any soul to walk in. When Christ came face to face with death on the cross He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” He too felt separated from the Father.

He too is familiar with grief. He was made in human-likeness that He might empathise with man. He travelled the path of grief to prepare the way for His followers to overcome. When Christ heard of the death of John the Baptist, He “departed thence by ship into a desert place apart…” He wanted to be alone, to mourn the death of His friend and cousin. That is what grief does, it drives us to desert places emotionally and mentally and physically too. We want to be apart, we want to be alone. And this feeling is not foreign to our Saviour. He was, after all, a man of sorrows as He sorrowed “even unto death” and often retreated to quiet places when His soul was troubled. Therefore, as Christians we can rejoice and be of good cheer in tribulation for even in solitude we are in good company!

The Bible is filled with precious promises of resurrection and reunion with dear ones who have departed. In Isaiah 25:8 we are promised that the Lord, our Lord Jesus Christ, shall return to swallow up death forever and will wipe away every tear from our faces. What a consoling thought, what a blessed thought! But until then we must still grieve, we must still shed tears and we must still endure the sting of death…for in this world we will not be without tribulation. Yet, as we grieve, as we hold on to this love that has no recipient, we can rest on the promise that we are not alone, we are not forsaken, and that Christ grieves with us because in our affliction He too is afflicted (Isaiah 63:9).

Displaced love is wearisome and a burden too heavy to carry on our own. Joseph Scriven knew this well when he penned down the words “oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything in God in prayer”, in his well-known hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. Prayer remains the Christian’s consolation, thus, the Lord invites us to come to Him with our heavy burdens and our displaced love that He might give us rest in return (Matthew 11:28). And though from time to time we may borrow back the grief, we must just always remember to give it back to its Bearer…

Relief after grief.

There is a place for grief at the feet of Jesus.

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Big God. Small things.

The glory of God’s faithfulness is that no sin of ours has ever made Him unfaithful.

Charles Spurgeon

Ever heard of the saying, “it’s the small things that matter,” or “the little things are the big things,” well, the Bible seems to echo the same thought:

“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10

It appears as though our faithfulness, committment, and consistency are tested in things that appear as trivial and unimportant to the human eye. It seems that God pays attention to things that seem small and insignificant to us. But why could this be? The answer is quite simple: it is because He is faithful, committed, and consistent in small things. God will never ask us to be or to do what He is not and what He does not do (hope that is not confusing! Lol) Basically, whatever God asks us to be, He is!

1Peter 2:21 refers to Christ as our Example, whose steps we should follow in. If He asks us to be faithful and just in what is least (small things), it is because He has provided us an example of how to be faithful and just in what is least. He’s faithfulness is a template for ours.

If one’s faithfulness and integrity are not found wanting in what is least, one can then be trusted with much. Can we trust God with much? Only if He’s been faithful with little! The question then is, Is God faithful in what is least, have we seen His faithfulness in the things that appear trivial and unimportant?

Perhaps the reason we panic and doubt God’s faithfulness in trying times (in much) is because we have not yet seen His faithfulness in that which is least. Perhaps the reason we cannot trust Him with the big things is because we have not yet learnt to trust Him with the small things. Maybe the reason we can’t find Him in the big things is because we haven’t looked in the little things.

The small things prepare us for the big things. The small things reveal His desire for an intimate relationship with us. The small things draw us closer to Him. Great is His faithfulness…even in the small things. If He takes time to number “the very hairs of your head,” will He not be “a shelter in the time of storm”?

So, after all, maybe it really is the small things that matter…💜

Image result for great is thy faithfulness
“Great is Thy faithfulness” even in the small things.

Choose Trust Instead

Isaiah 41

10 Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.

If only we would open our eyes and realize the help, the strength, and wisdom that is offered us, we would surely worry less and trust our God more.

It is human nature to fear and panic in the face of calamity, but God calls us to cast our fears and anxieties upon Him. He promises to strengthen and uphold us with His righteous hand. But we have to make a choice, choose to worry and doubt, or choose to trust Him instead.

What a blessed promise we have from our Heavenly Father: to be with us when we are faced with trials and temptations. We were never promised a pain-free Christian experience. In fact, in the book of Matthew (Matthew 10:22, 24:9) Christ ‘promises’ that we will face opposition and difficulties for His name’s sake.

Trials and temptations are necessary for the moulding of the Christian that his character may resemble that of his Maker. The fiery pathways we have to brave through are only set to refine our character. They are set not to harm us, but to remove all our dross; to remove anything in us that denies the character of Christ: the selfishness and the pride, the impatience and the discontentment. It is only when our character is pure and refined that we may see God. The Father desires that we “may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ”, that we may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless.” Thus He allows hardships in the Christian’s life.

We must always remember that when God allows any trials to overtake us, it is for our good (for our God is love and desires no evil to befall us). We may not understand now for “we see through a glass, darkly” and “know in part” and so it would be wise to allow the One who foresees the future to be our Guide when we pass through darkness.

And though we are pilgrims in this world, though we are only passersby, God desires that we may experience heaven on earth with Him by our side. It does not please the Father to see His children downtrodden and burdened by the cares of this world as though they have no Helper, no blessed Hope. Christ is our Helper. Christ is our Hope. If we keep our minds ever on Christ and put our trust in Him, He will keep us in perfect peace amidst the storms of life.

Isaiah 26
3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.

Amen.☺