Grief is about loss. We most often think of grief being about those who lose someone in death. That experience is certainly a great grief, but there are many other losses we may grieve. When my (Mark Maulding) daughter was born with Down Syndrome, my wife and I grieved deeply that we had “lost” a healthy child. Others grieve over the loss of their own health, the health of someone close, a reversal in their financial situation, the heartbreak of a wayward child (at any age), experiencing a divorce, betrayal, and much more.
Most of us have heard appropriately that there are stages in grief that a person often experiences. These stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Yet, the deep sadness of loss may go on long after.
There is a somewhat surprising Scripture regarding our griefs and sorrows. It describes something Jesus did on the cross for us. Isaiah 53:4a says:
Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.
The Hebrew meaning of griefs and sorrows are just what they say. They are connected to the sufferings we experience in this world. The verse says Jesus has already borne our griefs and sorrows. If Jesus has already borne these for the believer, then how can we experience this in real life?
When our Director of Counseling, Tom Short, helps people process their grief and sorrows, he uses a time of prayer to ask the Lord to show a person their emotional pain. As the Lord takes them to the event(s) surrounding any grief or sorrow, Tom instructs the person to speak out loud the deep sadness that he/she is feeling about that deep loss. Once they have, he asks the person to give all of that grief, pain and sorrow to the Lord and to let Him take it away.
Tom and the counselee stay in this time of prayer until God replaces those with relief and peace. In fact, Tom and his wife spent some time praying through some grief in her life, and God used it to heal her physically.
This approach may not be the only way we experience God’s comfort during grief, but it is helping many, including me. Before I even knew Tom was using this method in his counseling, I recently spent some time talking to the Lord, asking Him to show me my places of grief and sorrow. Much of it had to do with my daughter’s present and long lasting illness. I told the Lord all about it. Then, I gave it to Him based on Isaiah 53:4 quoted above.
Little by little, I sensed the burden of a lot of it lifting from me. I’m asking Jesus to show me if there is more. I hope you too, by faith, will ask God to show you your losses, that you may not have thought about. Then tell him how you feel about each one and spend time giving them to Him until you sense His peace.
If you’re stuck in grief and need someone who can lovingly help you give your grief and sorrows to the Lord, click on a button below for details about our counseling services or attend our life-transforming Grace Life Conference: