April 29th – Coping with grief

I have just finished reading a book by an old friend from the past, a minister who lives abroad and who lost his wife three years ago. The book is about his torment and grief, through that time of solitariness. It is a poignant testimony to human love, and I’m not sure how to respond to it.There is something in our British upbringing which shies away from ‘too much’ personal confession of searing grief.To describe it without complaining, to reveal the pain, and anguish without expecting anyone to understand, is a rare gift because those who are not bereft cannot ever feel the desolation of those who do.
C.S. Lewis did touch the world when he wrote under another name a book called “A Grief Observed”, but it was so superbly observed and written that the world made it a best seller before it knew who was the author.But that’s just the point.People don’t really want to know too much about our bereavement.It’s far too painful.It can so easily become a demonstration of self pity-and in any case it reminds the living of their dying. ‘Change the subject’ we all cry. ‘Let’s not be morbid’.

Yet, it is true that to love is to be vulnerable, to lose the one you love most can be too terrible a mental torture to conceive.It is also true that when it does happen, no one understands, for even if people have themselves gone through grieving, a newly bereaved is a newly wounded, lonely spirit, a bleeding soul whom only God can heal and help.Time alone doesn’t always heal.It is God alone who heals the memory, but it is a process which does demand enormous courage and a great struggle with mental and spiritual pain.

When King David learned his rebellious son Absalom was dead he was heartbroken, and no one understood his grief. II Samuel 18: 32 to 19: 2.
“The king asked the Cushite: “Is the young man, Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.” The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept.As he went, he said: “O my son, Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you-O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Joab was told “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said “The king is grieving for his son.”

A Prayer
“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. Nobody knows-but Jesus.”

Now read Psalm 23.

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Thought 4 The Day

Beware, what you really worship is what you will grow to be like.


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