good grief

Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

 But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?    I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. – Isaiah 43:1-2, 18-19 (NLT)

grief = keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret (Random House Dictionary, 2012).

So, GOOD grief?  Is that even possible?  Isn’t it oxymoronic?

yes, yes, and yes!

I think most of us relate grief to the death of a loved one.  And, although I have grieved in that manner, I am realizing that we grieve over many things….a marriage that is or isn’t, a relationship, a job, the ways things were, etc.

The Kubler-Ross model of the stages of grief also apply to these kinds of grief…denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.  I don’t believe the progression is the same for everyone.  But, I do think that we experience them all.

So, back to good grief…these two words seemingly do not fit together – at all!  I think the key lies with allowing ourselves to experience each stage of grief…to seek God’s face during each stage…to know that because of Him, we will be stronger on the other side of it.

As children of God, we need not fear – God has ransomed (which means we are free!) us.  We are His!  When…not if…we go through the crud, He is right there with us, and we are safe.
O, how I need to be constantly reminded of this.
Right here, right now.

And, to be reminded that the process, the crud in that process, the ‘good grief’ will be used to not only strengthen the bond between me and God, but to also make the pathway through the seemingly dense and overwhelming wilderness clear and straight.

Lord, please help me totally trust on You and the truth.  Constantly renew my thoughts to line up with what is true and right, not what I think is true.  May I constantly seek You. 

You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you.  God, my God, I can’t thank you enough.  – Psalm 30:11-12 (MSG)

grace.

 

 

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earlier bits

February 2012
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