Every day I spend a few hours searching the web for articles, pictures related to grief, grief quotes, etc., and I seek the Lord as to what I should and should not post. I know I don’t always get it ‘right’, but that’s my fault not His. I also look for a variety because I know that some things will help some, but not everything will help all. In addition, I ask the Lord if He has something He would have me write about and I wait. As I signed on today, the word that ‘popped’ into my mind was: ‘Encouragement’. As I was flipping through things, I kept coming across encouraging articles and Scriptures. To me, when such things occur, I view them as confirmation.
Then, I ran across some posts with articles that I found very validating and encouraging. We have had so many main-line preachers, well-known and popular, that preach messages which do more harm to the grieving than are beneficial. They often grieve my Spirit, as well as, anger me. I had read another article last night in which the ‘minister’ spoke of how we are not to speak of ‘negative’ things, etc., and it infuriated me. I don’t know what reality they are living in, but it’s definitely not mine. There is pain in this world… and lots of it. It’s as if they only want to preach Jesus as the Risen Lord, and forget that He was a ‘Man of Sorrows’. He was despised and rejected and held in low esteem. (Isaiah 53:3-4). Folks considered Him to be ‘smitten’ by God. Then there’s Job…who lost everything…everything…except a nagging wife that told him he should curse God and die. As a topper, his body was covered in boils. What did his ‘friends’ do? They told him he deserved it…essentially. They were sure he had brought all this sorrow upon himself…that he must have done something wrong to bring this great tragedy upon himself.
Shortly after my son passed on, I ran into one of these ‘Job comforters’. It wasn’t just anyone, it was my Pastor’s wife. Now I had been attending that Church for a number of years. My children attended and were very active in the youth group. My son that passed on was one of the leaders. His band played before 10K plus youth at a Jesus Festival that the youth group attended. Two of my sons went on weekend outreaches and conferences. I, personally, attended 2-3 meetings a week and took part in a nine month long special class with my son, and was asked to be a facilitator in the following year’s program. There was much more, but this is not a resume. I simply want to ‘set the scene’ that myself and three of my children were very involved and loved this Church. However, when my son passed on, this Pastor’s wife said to me: ‘The favor of the Lord has been lifted from you’. To add insult to injury, she was also a bereaved Mom.
This was ‘spiritual abuse’!
When someone in ‘authority’ says such a thing under such circumstances, the wounding cuts deeply. I have been wounded on some so-called Christian grief support sites for sharing a dream of my son, though the wounding did not cut as deeply as that initial one. I have always attempted reconciliation. The Pastor’s wife refused to even acknowledge my two letters; the on line moderators blocked me without any discussion. I did my part; it’s now between them and God.
Most of us struggle with our Faith and our beliefs when we’ve had to bury a child. Whether it be anger, trust, prayer, Faith…we have been rocked down to our very foundation. And IT HURTS! We certainly do not need more grief and sorrow and loss poured upon us.
But…here is the encouraging. Anything that was garbage is stripped from us. Any beliefs we held that were inaccurate are cleansed from us. If we don’t walk away from God in our darkest hour, we go deeper…and we keep on going deeper to get answers, to get Strength, to find any glimmer of Hope. Our world has been turned upside down. We have to find out: Is God punishing us? Is God truly a God of Love? Does God really exist? Does God even listen to my prayers?
We plow up and harrow the hardened ground that may have developed over time. It’s hard, very hard, work. It’s an internal toil that causes us to sweat, to ache, to strain. But there is good to come from it if we don’t quit and allow the soil to re-harden. There is good to come from it if we don’t become stiff-necked. The soil becomes softened, pliable, as the weeds are destroyed making room for fruitful growth.
We WILL see our children again!!!
Our children are very much alive! This world is only a place we are passing through. God was hated in this world and assures us that we will be hated, too.
John 15: (KJV)
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
He let us know that we will have trials and tribulations, but to take comfort in Him because He has overcome it…ALL of it! (John 16:33). YES! we miss our children in the here and now…their physical presence. BUT they are not ‘gone’; they are not ‘lost’. They LIVE! They are simply gone from the physical world which is filled with sorrow and woe. They are FREE! They have no more suffering, no more pain!
King David’s servants thought he had gone mad crazy after he lost his first son. David had fasted and prayed for his child when he became ill. He laid on the ground all night pleading with God on his child’s behalf. He refused to eat. This went on for seven days. When his child did die, the servants were afraid to inform David of his son’s death. ‘For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”‘ Finally, they did tell him that his son was dead. Only then did David arise from the ground, washed himself, ate, and went to the House of the Lord to Worship. Surely, the servants now believed that the King had become completely unhinged. They could not comprehend his behaviour. It made no sense whatsoever to them. But David responded to their inquiries as such: “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
King David knew he would see his child again.
YES! GRIEF SUCKS!!
It hurts like hell. Perhaps, there are times when we think we have died and gone to hell. There is nothing worse than burying our child, our flesh and blood; one we loved from the moment of their existence. We must…must…focus on eternity, of being reunited with our child. If we have to hang a big sign in our home to remind us that THIS IS TEMPORARY! then do so. This is not all there is. What awaits us for all eternity is so magnificent, so incredibly wonderful, that we can’t even imagine it. Travel to some of the most beautiful places on this planet and they don’t hold a candle in comparison to what lies ahead for those who belong to Jesus the Christ. Let us not forget the ‘Man of Sorrows’. He ‘gets it’. He suffers along with us. And…He suffered and died to set us free from it.
1 Corinthians 2:9(NKJV)
9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728 Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))