Friday, June 26, 2009

Daily Digest #302

That we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. —2 Corinthians 1:4

I believe that each of us has experienced some form of loss in our lives. Maybe we have gone through it, or still dealing with it now. Allow me to share another insightful article entitled "How Can I Live With My Loss" (pp. 12-13). I am also including an excerpt which I can relate to the most (pp. 25-26). I hope that you can read the whole article in your free time, it is truly enlightening.

What is the Process of Dealing With Loss?

We must all learn for ourselves that grieving is a confusing and disorienting process that takes time. It is something we get over, but rather it is something we get through. Noted author C.S. Lewis wrote about his experience with the process of grief after the death of his wife to cancer: "For in grief, nothing 'stays put'. One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats." (A Grief Observed, p. 67).

The Bible tells us that there is a pathway through difficult times in our lives to higher ground. The experience may indeed be life-threatening, or at least it feels that way. It is the perilous path of the valley of the shadow of death that David spoke of in Psalm 23:4, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." David was talking about the times when God walks with us through our dark valley experiences. Grief is one of those formidable valley experiences.

In the valley of grief, where the way is treacherous and we are so unsure of ourselves, we learn to trust God. After all, what better option is there? Trust enables us to maintain perspective by walking "by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7) as we go through the valley. Otherwise we will lose our way and get hopelessly lost in despair.

We need a trusted guide to lead us when we've lost sight of where we're headed. Only one Guide is reliable enough to lead us. That Guide is Jesus Christ. He really is "the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn. 14:6).

...Reinvest in Love

The return of the desire to love again is the best indicator that the stages of grief have been completed well. Refusal to love again is an indication that we're afraid of losing someone else. No one enjoys the pain of loss. But a deepening faith in the One who will never abandon us will enable us to risk loving again.

Trusting God's enduring love is the only thing that will sustain us in the tough times of grief. John Brantner writes, "Only people who avoid love can avoid grief. The point is to learn from it and remain vulnerable to love."

It is in this final stage of grief that mourners are able to regard their loss as a growth-promoting experience that has made them better people in the process. It changes their whole outlook in life. This deepening awareness of the fragility of life and their place in it gives birth to a richer appreciation for the beauty and importance of life.

For this, let us pray. Heavenly Father, thank You for sending us Your Son to show us how to live -- how to follow Your will, how to trust in Your time, and how to cope with all the trials in this world. Thank You for Your words of wisdom that have awaken us and strengthened us over time. Please continue to guide us today. Bless our thoughts, our choices, our actions and our words. Amen.

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