Grief has no timetable and doesn’t follow a predictable journey. It can hit unexpectedly, years, decades, after a tragic loss and can come in waves that leave the mourner incapacitated. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and other shared moments that once initiated joy can bring one to tears once their loved one has left. Because the sorrow of loss can last years, long after other supportive friends have forgotten, the bereaved can feel forgotten and alone. But they aren’t. There’s One that remains closer than a brother. He never forgets, never leaves, and never fails to understand.
Acquainted With Grief by Linda Randeau
This time of year may be very difficult for the bereaved … especially if the loss occurred near the holidays. Even those of great faith can find anniversaries and special days difficult to endure.
My friend Helen’s fiancé was killed in a car crash, days before their upcoming Christmas wedding. For years afterward, when the holiday came around, she became more and more secluded, despite her friends’ Herculean efforts to draw her out. Sometimes she attended office parties and other festivities for her friends’ sakes, but her heart wasn’t in them.
When I think of Helen’s difficulties surrounding the holidays, I wonder what the Father must have felt when Christ came to earth. His grief must have transcended any human’s.
Scripture foretold that our Savior would be a man who’d be acquainted with grief.
Did the Father grieve when the angels heralded the long-awaited birth? When He watched that infant grow into a toddler, than a teen, and then a man? God knew what the future held for His only son and that the time would soon come when many would cry, “Crucify Him.”
For thousands of years, the world anxiously awaited their promised Savior not knowing the price that would be paid … a plan put in place from the beginning of time and told by prophets. He was born to suffer so that you and I could be set free.
“But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed” (Isaiah 53:5, NLT)*.
Only God knew of Heaven’s future loss. And I wonder if His grief is renewed each Christmas and Easter as men continue to scorn the gift He gave. And yet, God held nothing back from His promise of deliverance from sin’s hopelessness.
Let’s talk about this! If you’re experiencing grief, what days tend to be the hardest for you? How does knowing Jesus knows, understands, and cares deeply bring you comfort? In what ways has He walked this hard journey with you? If you aren’t currently grieving, chances are, someone in your circle is. Did Linda’s post give you any insight as to how you can be there for your friend, church family, or whomever God places in your circle who might be experiencing grief? Share your thoughts in the comments below, because we can all encourage and learn from one another!
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Award winning author, Linda Wood Randeau writes to demonstrate our worst past, surrendered to God becomes our best future. A veteran social worker, Linda now resides in Hagerstown, Maryland. Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com. Contact the author on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Goodreads.
“Christmas is a time for miracles,” Ryan McDougal tells his mother, when he is told that a long lost cousin, Millie, has resurfaced after nearly forty years, the cousin whose picture his mother clasped the day his father abandoned him. Though they occurred decades apart, he always believed the two disappearances were connected like opposite links of a chain.
With Millie’s arrival, perhaps he might finally receive the answers he so desperately sought. However, Ryan has a third thorn in his side, more devastating than any mystery. His wife, the love of his life, has left his arms and his bed. How long before she moves out of the house and takes his beloved son with her? He prays for his own Christmas miracle. Millie’s anticipated visit prompts Ryan’s mother to reveal secrets that bring all to light. However, when past and present collide, the truth is more than Ryan can bear.
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Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinios, 60188. All rights reserved.