Grace for Grieving
My kids love stories, and honestly, I would argue that we all do.
I remember around the age of ten or eleven, my dad would read a chapter of the Hardy Boys to us before bed. The suspense, the drama, the excitement, it was almost as if you were there with them watching the story play out.
But as exciting as this all was, I’m not sure I would know how to explain the quiet depression that would set in when realizing that the chapter was coming to a close. It seems that as we experience the death of a loved one, you almost get a sense of Déjà vu. A similar void begins to form knowing that a story that we loved is ending.
The scriptures tell us that whether it is us or a loved one, we long to do whatever we can to add to the story of life. The author of Hebrews explains this by saying that due to the fall, we have been placed in the bondage of death and do everything that we can to outrun it (Heb. 2:15) but gives us the hope that there is One that has already outrun death for us.
When faced with grief, the story of redemption and new creation gives us hope and comfort. You see, without the story of redemption pointing to the future, we must settle for memories of the past. Memories that, while they are great to enjoy only leave us with an empty longing and sorrow. (1 Thess. 4:13)
It is in this story of redemption that we can find the grace for our grieving.
Isaiah tells us that Christ took our griefs and bore those parts of our sorrows that we could not bear. (Is. 53:4) Grief for the sins that we or a loved one committed were borne by Him, the grief for the times that we failed are swallowed up by His success, and the grief that the loved one has departed is turned to hope that we will see them in Christ.
Even in grief, we celebrate redemption.
The time at the grave is difficult. The pain of loss is raw and terrible, but an open tomb brings us unexplainable peace.
As believers, we don’t grieve like the rest of the world. This is because we know that because of His eternal story of redemption, God writes at the end of each of the book of the believes life “to be continued”.