Grief, profound sadness and utter affliction beyond our control. I’ve grieved many times before. I have grieved over the loss of my grandpa. I’ve grieved over choices I’ve made in the past. But the worst grief I’ve ever endured is the grief over the loss of a relationship with my youngest daughter. This grief has lasted for two and a half years and I still often find myself crying over her. Grief happens to all of us at one time or another, and, even though it’s difficult to see it sometimes, there is hope at the end of grief. This is what I want to talk to you about today because it is something I’ve had to learn on my own, through my scripture reading and through prayer.
October 2, 2021 is the last time I got to hug my daughter. It is the day that changed my life for the worst and I’ll never forget the pivot my heart took when my daughter said she didn’t want to live with me anymore. Was it the first time she told me that? No, she had said it a few times before, but I knew deep down that this would be the last time I’d hear it. I knew my ex would use this situation to his advantage and I was right. He now has custody of her and I am left without my kiddo. I would give anything to get another hug from my youngest baby. I don’t think this grief will ever end, but I do know that one day we’ll be in a place where there are no tears and no more sorrows (Revelation 21:4).
Have you ever read the book of Lamentations? If you are dealing with grief or depression, I would like to encourage you to read it because you will see how sad the author was and you’ll know that the grief you are feeling today is something people, even back then, have been dealing with since the beginning of time. Although grief seems never ending, it is something we should not be stuck in. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says that there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.” There are ways to let grief only be for a season, so let’s discuss how to do this.
Prayer: Every time King David was going through turmoil or depression, he prayed to God to help him. “Hear my prayer, O LORD and give ear to my cry (Psalm 39:12).” Jesus said that whatever we ask for in prayer, we will receive (Matthew 21:22), so we can be certain that we will get peace if we ask for it. There are days I feel like I don’t even want to get out of bed because I miss my daughter so much, but instead of giving into that temptation, I go to a quiet place and pray. God has been faithful to me every time, to help me out of bed and into the day. Philippians 4:4-7 was the first scripture I ever learned because it’s the scripture that helps me through my difficult seasons. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” He promises to give us His peace.
Bearing the Fruit of the Spirit: When we’re angry about a situation and we’re sad that things haven’t gone our way, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to be joyful and loving toward others. Trust me, I know this to be true. I’ve often wanted to just stay quiet and not speak to anyone, including my husband. The temptation to be angry and mean toward others seems to be stronger when I am upset. Does this happen to you too? The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. These things are opposite of the things I want to do when I’m grieving, but we are commanded to bear these things because they are of God. If we do them, we are blessed and are blessings to others. When we walk and talk in the Spirit, we aren’t fulfilling the desires of the flesh and we will then obtain favor from the LORD.
Read your Bible: Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” Bible study on depression helps me. There are tons of resources available to us and you can find many topics regarding the circumstances you are in. It’s important to remember that we are not alone in our grief and the Bible is the best resource for help in getting us through our grief. The Bible is God’s love letter to us and He has written so much about the topic of grief. You can also find Bible study groups in your area where you can be around like-minded people who can help build you up and give you guidance and support.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” That’s our hope, friends. We have hope knowing that Heaven will be a peaceful and happy place where there is no sorrow or tears (Revelation 21:4) and we’ll be in the presence of the Author of love and grace. We are overcomers because of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Grief is not permanent, but God is. Rest in Him, knowing that you are loved and held in the arms of your Father.
Heavely Father, thank you for joining us today and for understanding and grieving with us. Please bring us peace in our afflictions and help us through these tough seasons that seem to never end. You are love and You are grace, and help us to remember to lean on the hope You have given to us. Let our grief be only for a time and comfort us under the shadow of your wings. I ask this in Jesus holy Name. Amen!