Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

10/17/2018

Harold Akridge

 

WILL MY GRIEF PAIN EVER STOP?

 

How often -- will it be for always? -- how often will the vast emptiness astonish me

like a complete novelty and make me say, "I never realized my loss

till this moment"? The same leg is cut off time after time.” 
― C.S. Lewis, "A Grief Observed"

 

  Grieving might be the most individualistic process that humans face. “Grief is the natural emotional reaction to a loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss.”  Personal loss resulting in grief includes the death of a spouse, a child or close family member, a miscarriage of a child, when we lose our own health, or a family member has serious health issues, the loss of a job or a pet we love dies.

 

  God, our Creator personally grieved in Genesis 6:6-8, “The Lord regretted that He had ever made human beings on the earth, and it grieved Him to his heart…I am sorry I have made them.” As a Christian, when we lose something precious we must take comfort and get our strength in God’s Word and through His church. Our God knows what it is to lose someone precious. He personally provided His Son, Jesus Christ as the sacrifice to save us from sin. It is impossible for us to know or feel God’s pain, but as true believers we know it is factual. If our Creator can grieve, and we were created in His own image, then we must grieve, and we must feel real pain. (Genesis 1:27) Every personal loss we have in this life will trigger grief in some way. There is no instruction manual or right/wrong way to express our feelings when we have lost something precious.

 

  The Apostle John details grieving in John 11:1-37. John describes the pain, anxiety and grief that Mary and Martha were feeling for their brother Lazarus. Their grieving began when Lazarus was sick. The doctors told them that the cancer would take his life soon. They had seen Jesus heal others who were sick, and they knew if he would come, he could prevent the cancer from taking Lazarus’ life. An upset and grieving Martha met Jesus on the road and told him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Listen and feel this distraught, almost angry, crying woman’s voice! Grieving expands its meaning in verse 33,“When Jesus saw her weeping…tears came to his eyes, he was deeply moved, his heart was sad and troubled.” Jesus was grieving because of the pain and sadness that Mary and Martha were suffering from. Jesus’ humanity allowed him to openly weep and grieve. We are also special to Jesus, he knows us intimately. He died for us. In our personal grief we must find comfort that whatever our grief loss is, that Jesus feels our grief pain just like it is his own. Jesus offers us peace, hope and healing through him.

 

  Possibly the greatest example of grieving is found in Matthew 26:36-56, Mark 14:32-52, Luke 22:40-53, and John 18.1-11. Each writer is like a great painter bringing to life the grief pain Jesus was feeling the night before his death. Jesus was grieving because:

 

• As a human man, he was face-to-face that he was going to die a horrible, painful and humiliating death on the cross. He knew every detail of what was going to happen to him.

 

• His disciples, men who he deeply loved could not follow his last request to stay awake and watch. Their friend, their King desperately needed their encouragement and prayers and they would not help.

 

• Jesus was in pain praying in the garden, grieving like we will never know. Listen to Jesus as he cried out to his Father, “everything is possible for You, Father. Take this cup, (this terrible death experience I am going to face) from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)

 

  Is our grief pain larger than the pain of Mary, Martha and Jesus?

 

  Over and over we ask the same question. Will my personal grief pain ever stop hurting? Is this pain going to dominate my life forever? The answer is look to God’s Word and to the church for peace and relief.

 

"I give you Peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It is not like the peace the world can give you.  Do not let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:27).

 

—Harold Akridge

    Bella Vista church of Christ