Grief is something that NEVER comes easy. You can prepare for a loss you know will happen but that's just the pride we have to want to always have our feelings in control. We're human. It took the loss of my childhood pup to be put to a restful eternal sleep last week, for me to really see the pain I have ensured and where God has brought me. This isn't just a post of experiencing pet loss but it was something deeper than I realized. My 8th grade year (2011) in middle school was a hard year. I experienced my uncle and aunt passing away (from different cases), my parents separating, and an ending of a chapter of my childhood. That's grief. Fast forward to the year 2020 I lost my mother due to COVID-19, experienced a global pandemic, lost my aunt to Breast Cancer, and moved out of my childhood home. That's grief. All different times that ended in pain. How does God fit into all of this? The true question is how does God NOT fit into this? God doesn't just give these trials without His never-ending love and support to us. We all have different seasons in which we go through these trials but it's not a matter of God "testing" us, it's more of God "preparing" us.
A podcast by John Piper titled "Glorifying God in Unshakable Grief" he mentions how they're 5 lessons when grieving.
1. Don't burden yourself to think grieving is foreign for God's children. Meaning as believers in Christ we do not grieve without hope. Yes, we grieve because this world is not perfect due to our sinful ways BUT in Christ we find hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13; 13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
2. Eat from the fruit of sorrow even if it is bitter because this fruit only has nutrients. We do not want to wish to get out of these burdens and pains but we should realize that the Lord is working wonders. You are the person He is growing through these difficult moments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. 68 You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. 69 The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts; 70 their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law. 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
3. Savor the special promise of nearness of the Lord. In the beginning of the grieving process with the loss of my mother I experienced this nearness. Time where I was just in my room crying out to the Lord for comfort for those unbearable days He held me closer than ever.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
4. Believe that He will heal the wounds without taking the memory. There were times that I felt fearful that if I was able to make the day without crying I would forget my mom. But as time went on the memories felt so much sweeter.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds
5. Wait for God's Timing of Healing and Restoration. God doesn't leave us in our pains, sufferings, anger, or regret. We have to remember that Christ endured all of it and so much more. The Lord is faithful to have hope and joy even through these moments of hardships. I know He has made me such a different person. Not perfect and absolutely not perfect in grieving but somewhere that I am able to truly put all of my trust in Him.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
In a short book I read recently titled Grief: Finding Hope Again by Paul David Tripp really wrapped all of these ideas in about 30 pages. Grieving for sure is the hardest thing we have to do. One thing to remember is that no one is "better" at it than others. Being good at grieving is an oxymoron of being good at something that you shouldn't be good at. Tripp says "the Bible reminds us that all true comfort has its source in the Lord. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Only one person can provide the comfort that restores our heart-the source of all try comfort, Jesus Christ. He knows your pain. He went through death himself (p.15)." Once we understand that pain is something we cannot escape or heal from on our own it gives the perfect picture of the Gospel. God came as flesh, a true man, who was sinless and perfect, who then was mocked, beaten, then hung on the cross to die. As people watched Him there, bleeding, gasping, and then took His final breath. But He did not just die but resurrected in 3 days and now we are forgiven and made new. One who can go through unbearable pain truly knows what your pain is. His true comfort is what saved me. Christ saved me from being stuck in the darkest places my mind can ever go. I am not the "pro-athlete" of grieving despite my smiles and joy, the Bible is there as a resource to build our love and trust for the Lord. This work is not of my own but in Christ who has transformed me into the daughter He called me to me. The Lord didn't give me this testimony to keep to myself but to share the love and power of Christ to those who have ever or currently feel a lack of hope. Trust in the Lord, have hope in the Holy one who saves.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
By: Belinda (IG: @belindaaolmoo and TikTok: belindar.olmo)
Belinda is a contributing writer for Bible and Hot Cocoa blog. She is currently in graduate school for Clinical Mental Heath. Bel also has a bachelors degree in English, which is such a passion of hers. She loves to share her experiences and how God’s Grace has kept her in all of the good and the bad. Belinda wants to use social media platforms to share the Gospel and how Jesus truly saves. For more content feel free to check out her Instagram: belindaaolmoo, TikTok: belindar.olmo, and my new blog site: www.belindaspeaks.blogspot.com.