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Archive for June 6th, 2014

For years I’ve heard folks, presumably wiser than myself, utter this statement, no doubt repeated to them by their parents. ThenDSCF5456 our daughter died—thirteen years ago. No warning. No time to say goodbye. Just gone. And time did nothing that remotely resembled healing.

So I sought GriefShare.

We’ve looked at proverbial sayings by our parents and grandparents for several weeks now, and up to this point the sayings have been filled with wisdom and truth. This week and DSCF5457next week we’ll look at two often repeated statements that need to be removed from our vocabulary.

Whether a loved one dies suddenly or after a long illness, our hearts are ripped open and shredded. We need emergency care. If an x-ray could print a picture of our emotional and spiritual heart injuries we’d be rushed by ambulance to the operating room.

But the God of all creation can treat and mend such horrific injuries. And He’s promised to do just that, if we seek Him and determine to trust our lives to His care. But it takes work, hard work, to make it to the other side of grief. And part of that learning is the ability to shut off endless tapes that attempt to play non-stop in our minds.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NAS).

Physical wounds take time and a treatment regimentation to heal. Emotional and spiritual wounds require God’s comfort and hand of healing together with our cooperation to work through the gut-wrenching pain under the guidance of the Word and the Holy Spirit of God. The key words are “our cooperation to work through…”
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Yes, you play a very important role in your own healing. You have a choice. A loss of anything rarely brings out the best in us, but when death strikes we are rendered helpless and often hopeless. Our analysis of life changes. We come face to face with the reality of our mortality.

An additional ingredient causing the pot of grief to boil is pain held onto from the past. The enemy of our soul is always swift to stir this pot, bringing all our ugly, unresolved injuries from former years into the present. You see, he never forgets. He goes for the jugular, and your heart is prime real estate. He is determined to inflict as much damage as is necessary to snare you in his net of deception.

The first fiery dart zinging toward the bulls-eye of your heart murmurs, “I can’t handle this today. I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Yes, Scarlet, and all the tomorrows after that if you refuse to deal with the pain of your grief now.

“Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief” (Psalm 31:9 NAS).

Picture a huge back-pack filled with heavy stones, each one labeled. The first stone we pull out is marked sorrow—it weighs a ton. One similar in size is anger. Then abandonment and despair are twin hunks off the stone of hopelessness. Buried under that terrible trio is dread, but there are more stones, and they seem to multiply.

A stone lays face down in the bag and we almost drop it as we read the label—guilt. Even thinking the word causes emotions to swirl and grow. Fear, confusion, and denial tumble onto the stack, threatening to topple the heap. But the enemy isn’t finished. He tosses the stones of envy, rejection, distrust, loneliness, and anxiety at you.

And a voice whispers, “No wonder I feel so awful. Poor me, I deserve to be angry. I’ll never laugh again. There will be no joy. Why, oh why, did God allow this to happen?” And you pick up each stone and place it lovingly back in the pack, zip the flap shut, and pick up the burden. “Oh these stones are so heavy, but it’s my cross to bear.” And you carry the weight of anguish with you each day, all day, everywhere, until you face another crisis and the grief you’ve stuffed will be resurrected and it won’t be convenient or pretty.

“My sorrow is beyond healing. My heart is faint within me. …Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?…For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 8:18, 22; 30:17 NAS).

Time doesn’t change the stones. Time changes you.DSCF5458

The stones become heavier and anger turns to bitterness. You’ve bought the deception. Fear, guilt, anxiety, and loneliness become boulders. And you’re stuck in grief, and don’t know there’s a solution. But you chose to pack ‘em up and take ‘em with you.

The good news is when you’ve had enough of carrying a load you were never meant to bear, you can bring that pack of pain to Jesus. Confess you were prideful and wrong. Pour out your heart to the Lord who loves you with an everlasting love, and leave your disaster there. Allow Him to heal what time could never accomplish.

“The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NAS).

There’s help available to all willing to take that first step toward help, hope and restoration of joy. Choose GriefShare today.

Go to http://www.griefshare.org to find a group near you.

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