"Coping With Loss"
Coping With Loss (1)
"Jesus wept." John 11:35
Emptiness, disbelief, fatigue, confusion, depression and anger are all part of the grieving process. C M Parkes says: "Grief is the price we pay for love." The only people who escape grief are those who've never really loved.
In John, chapter 11, when Jesus arrived on the scene, Lazarus was dead and Martha was upset because He didn't come sooner. She wanted to know: "Why, Lord?" It's the question we all ask. And what was His response? The Bible says that sitting down among the mourners: "Jesus wept." And when He did, He made it okay for us to grieve too!
How do we mourn? Author Melody Beattie says: "We do it awkwardly, imperfectly, with resistance, anger and attempts to negotiate. We flounder through kicking and screaming until we reach that peaceful state called acceptance." Tears don't represent a lack of faith; they just mean we're human. The One who gave you love, understands sorrow and loss - that's why He gave you tears!
Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life" (Jn 11:25), so when He spoke that day Lazarus had to respond to the "Lord of...the dead and the living" (Ro 14:9 NIV). In fact, if Jesus hadn't called Lazarus by name, it's likely that every corpse in the cemetery would have arisen when He spoke! Grieving heart, there's good news: "The Lord...will come down from heaven...[and] all the Christians [including your loved ones] who have died will rise" (1Th 4:16 NLT). Until then, although we grieve, we are not like "others who have no hope" (1Th 4:13 NKJV). That's because we know how the story ends.
Coping With Loss (2)
"The Lord is close to the broken-hearted." Psalm 34:18 NIV
When you have lost someone you love there is no easy remedy. The only way out is through. One woman said: "I'd no idea grieving involved so many 'firsts': my first night alone, the first time I attended church alone, my first anniversary alone. And when I didn't think things could get worse, I find myself facing the holidays alone. I'd give anything to boycott them." The Bible says: "The Lord is close to the broken-hearted." He uses the support of loving friends and family, plus the passage of time, to help us heal. In the meantime here are some things you can do:
(1) When possible, plan ahead. When grieving, there is no right or wrong way to handle special events like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Some people decide to do something totally different instead of trying to maintain old traditions. Do what feels best to you.
(2) Let your church family help. Going it alone usually means going nowhere, so reach out to friends and fellow-Christians. Ask them to pray with and for you. Remember, others don't know what you need unless you tell them.
(3) Tap into God's strength. Grief can be draining. So ask God to protect you from being consumed by it, to strengthen you when you're feeling down. The Bible says: "He gives strength to the weary...those who hope in the Lord...renew their strength" (Is 40:29, 31 NIV).
(4) Don't expect too much too soon. Maintain reasonable expectations about what you can handle. Treat yourself like you'd treat your best friend - by being kind and nurturing.
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