Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
Today, we are talking about discovering grace in grief.
The death of our loved one leaves our heads spinning with many thoughts, emotions, and feelings. None of us wants to lose a loved one, yet it is in the midst of pain that we discover grace in grief. The truth is we live in a fallen world, and that means we will experience loss at some point.
Though we know that we will all die one day if the Lord tarries, the loss of a loved one still leaves us feeling devastated and even angry. Yes, we know that believers go to be with the Lord when they pass away. But it still hurts to lose them.
In the podcast episode Discovering Grace in Grief, I talk to Clarissa Moll, a young widow of Author Rob Moll. Clarissa discusses her courageous journey after the death of her husband. She shares her thoughts on grieving the loss of a loved one and how she discovered grace in grief. You can listen to the full episode here: listen
Many people, including Christians, don’t like talking about grief. Even though we know that it is part of life, we would rather avoid talking about it. Our uneasiness with death has caused us to come up with different myths about death.
Myths associated with Grief
● Grief is something that can be fixed.
Many people look at grief as a problem that can be fixed.
“We often treat people that are grieving as if they have a physical injury”-Clarissa Moll
Look, grief is not a problem. It is not an injury that can be fixed. Grief is a mixture of emotions. You may feel lonely because you miss your loved one but, at the same time, feel relieved because your loved one is no longer in pain.
● Grief has a timetable
Most of us believe that grief has a timetable. So when we see someone grieving for a shorter time, we become suspicious of them. We make assumptions that the person did not love the deceased and so forth.
On the other hand, when you grieve for a long time, people become worried about you. They think you will sink into depression or even commit suicide.
● There is a right and wrong way of grieving
There is no one way to grieving. There is no one way to let go of a loved one who has died. Some people don’t want people around them when they are grieving, while others prefer to be surrounded by people. It all depends on a person.
● Grief is bad
Sadly, some Christians take 1 Thessalonians 4:13 out of context. They make grieving to look like a bad thing. But Jesus wept when Lazarus died. Though he knew that he was going to raise him up, he still wept. This shows that it is okay to grieve when we lose our loved ones.
“Grief is an expression of love”- Clarissa
In this episode, I asked Clarissa what pain teaches us, and here are great takeaways she shared:
· We are so much smaller and defenceless than we would like to admit.
· We are much less able
· God is able, generous, tender than we can imagine
So what does grace look or feel like when one is grieving?
A Friend praying and encouraging you
Grace in grief is when your friend prays for you so that you can find joy and peace in your pain. It is when they come to your place and pray for you and your family. When they encourage you to face one day at a time when all you want to do is quit.
Prayer is the greatest expression of love. It shows that someone not only cares about your physical wellbeing but also your spiritual life. When friends pray for us in such seasons, it shows that they love and care for us.
They know that they can’t take the pain and feelings of loss away, but God can fill our empty hearts with love.
People Coming to Mourn with you
Listening to people as they honour your loved one can be overwhelming. Seeing the difference he or she made in the world will help you understand how gracious God is for allowing you to be part of their life while they were in this world.
Grace is when people take the initiative to meet a need. They help you clear bills, clean the house, encourage you to eat, and give you advice. (Roman 12:15)
Finding Strength to Carry Out Tasks when you don’t feel like it
There are those days when you don’t feel like doing anything. Times when your mind goes blank. Times when you just want to stay in your bed the whole day and cry.
Yet it is in those days that you will discover God’s grace is sufficient. You will learn that his grace is sufficient to help you do the things that need to get done even though you don’t feel like doing them. It is in times of grieving that you learn that you don’t need to be well put together for you to accomplish the purposes of God. You only need to follow his lead.
Finding Purpose in Pain
Jesus’ pain and suffering served a great purpose for all humanity (Isaiah 53:3). It means that your grief can also serve a purpose.
“In my own grief journey, writing has been a way for me to connect with the Lord, to labour for him all the things that are aching in my heart, and it has also been a great way for me to connect with other people who are grieving. People around the world who have reached out to me who have found solace in my words.”
God will strengthen and give you favour with those that are grieving or people that he wants you to help.
Grieve is another form of love. Like Clarissa, grief is a way for most of us to express love for our loved ones who have passed away. It is hard to make sense of what is happening when grieving. The death of a loved one will leave you feeling lost and devastated. But we are told not to grieve like unbelievers.
Grief is an emotional experience that we all have to walk through at some point. But hard as it is, we need to remember God's grace is sufficient. Grace in grief is when friends pray and encourage you, and when people come to mourn with you. It is when you find the strength to carry out tasks you don’t feel like and find purpose in the midst of pain.
I would like to end this article by reminding you of Clarissa’s words by C. S Lewis “We integrate our loss into the person we are becoming.” This is something that we can all reflect on. To hear the full episode of this podcast, please click this link listen
Unshakeable Stories Unshakeable Truths Podcast with Abigale Otchere
Clarissa Moll’s Article in Christianity Today