The typical questions of people in the midst of grief begin with the word, why. This is especially true of those that have lost someone they love due to tragedy and their heartbreak is even more intense than in normal loss. We long to know why our loved one was taken away and why we were left behind to live life without them. The whys can drive you crazy and send you deeper and deeper into the depths of grief to the point of not being able to move beyond them. This is how I used to grieve. I could never get past the whys.
When I lost my grandfather in 2003, I couldn’t understand the purpose of God taking him home. I knew the facts. He was in a better place. God had rewards waiting for him because of his service to Him while on earth. What I couldn’t get over was, why God took him when he could still have reached more people for the Lord on earth, why I didn’t get to say goodbye and why he couldn’t have met my son that was due in just 3 short months. I struggled with these questions (and more) for years after losing my grandfather.
Losing my best friend this year brought out the why questions again. She loved Jesus with every part of herself and shared Him with everyone. Her smile radiated Jesus’ love for her and the world. God had finally given her a baby, an answer to prayers we’d been praying with her for several years. Once again, through my tears and heartbreak I poured out all of my why questions at the Lord’s feet. I did not understand why she had to go. She had so much life ahead of her and I needed her.
How I’m Learning to Grieve with Hope This Week
God’s story began long before I came along. He created a beautiful world for His children to live in and He wanted us to walk and talk with Him forever. Yet, that wasn’t enough. We weren’t content to just be with God. Instead we wanted to be like God. This isn’t just Adam and Eve’s story. It is yours and it is mine. We still have remnants of that desire inside each of us. While we would like to think that we would never reach out and grab that fruit or take it from our spouse, if we were honest with each other we know we would have. How do I know this? Because it is part of God’s story.
God desires for you and I to choose Him. He won’t force us to do anything. He needs us to want Him. Our relationship with God must begin with us.
The world that God created is indeed beautiful, but it isn’t satisfying. I want more. I am not fulfilled with just living here forever. I’m not unthankful for the world God created for me, the family He has given me or the life I have here.
I know that I have more than I deserve and yet, I want more.
This is where my grief becomes a part of God’s story. God knew that I would suffer heartbreak, sorrow, grief and disappointment here on earth and that I would need relief from the pain. So, He sent His Son, Jesus, as the ultimate sacrifice, to provide salvation for me…and for you too! The gift of salvation provides the fulfillment that I long for…a deep relationship with the Lord and eternity with Him in heaven.
If was completely happy here on earth, content with all the earth has to offer, what would I have to grieve? What would I have to long for? God’s story requires me to long for….even to grieve for that which I do not have…yet!
But! I have a future and a hope! One day God’s story for my life here on earth will be completed and I will be with Him in eternity. There I will no longer cry any tears, feel any pain or long for a place to truly call home.
This is the purpose of God’s story; to be all that we want, to provide all that we want and to be with us always. He desires that we grieve for that which we do not have that is of Him because it brings us closer to Him.
I’ve known for most of my life that I haven’t ever handled grief properly. That is why I began this journey towards learning to grieve with hope with my besties. We’re in the midst of our book study through Grieving with Hope, by Samuel J. Hodges.
Every week we’ll each be sharing our thoughts on the same chapter. It is our hope and prayer that as we learn to grieve holding tightly to the hope we have in Jesus Christ that others will be encouraged and strengthened that are on their own grief journey.