Last month we bore our hearts concerning how to minister to people who have walked through extreme difficulties. The response from many of you was so touching, we felt compelled to share more on the subject of loss.
This month I want to look at the issue of Grief & Tears, because I believe it is a bit misunderstood.
After our son Beau passed we came across an article by Tony Cooke called, It's OK to Cry. Through many scriptures, that little article brought MASSIVE comfort, and showed us tears were not so much a sign of weakness or a lack of faith as some may think, but a normal emotion stemming from some of life's pains. Among other things, we also learned our tears were a natural response to the depths of love we had for our son, now departed.
I thank God for that revelation, because we all as family and friends have cried buckets of tears for several years now, and I'm sure we will for many years to come. And that's OK.
So what about this issue of crying and tears from a loss? Is it unspiritual, showing weakness or a lack of trust, or possibly a healing balm to the soul? Jill and I believe it can be a healthy response to a difficult situation, although at the moment, it may seem opposite. Sometimes all you need is a good cry to get through something. However, those who squash this emotion can become bound up and dysfunctional.
Grief after loss is an interesting journey
with many twists, turns and a life of its own.
Therefore we believe it is important for people to have the freedom to express it without any fear or condemnation of what others might think.
Before we lost our son, I really had no idea what grief was and didn't understand people who were experiencing it. But following his death and after many days of uncontrollable tears, I began looking up scriptures and praying about this subject. I was amazed at what I found.
For starters, I recalled Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. (John 11:35). Well known as the shortest scripture in the Bible, it is very powerful. This blessed me beyond words, knowing I was not alone in all these tears.
Then I remembered Paul told us to...weep with those who weep. I concluded Paul would never ask us to do anything Jesus would not do. Therefore I believe Jesus weeps with those who weep, for He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities.
He even wept over the city of Jerusalem out of pure love for it. (Luke 19:41)
Some think Jesus looks down on you for lack of faith if you shed tears, however He blessed the women who knelt at His feet weeping and washing His feet with her tears. (Luke 7:38)
Psalm 56:8 says He keeps track of all our sorrows and collects all our tears in His bottle, recording each one in His book. Our tears are precious to God.
Mourning over the loss of a loved one
is not unspiritual or ungodly.
Acts 8:2 says, ...godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. Then in Philippians 2:27, Paul tells us his coworker, Epaphroditus, was ill and almost died. ...But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.
We all agree Paul was spiritual, yet he was admitting this would have been really hard and he would have had unfathomable grief. It is not ungodly to have sorrow and even shed tears when you are missing someone you love.
King David deeply mourned the death of his son Absalom with tears, Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: 'O my son Absalom - my son, my son Absalom - if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!' (2 Samuel 18:33)
And in 1 Samuel 30:40 when King David's mighty men arrived home to Ziklag and saw their town had been raided and their wives & children taken by the enemy, the Bible says these great warriors wept until they could weep no more!
These men were not weak or even unspiritual because they cried over losing their families. It is a part of our human makeup and emotions. We believe weeping can be part of the healing process as well, and we will look at that more in next month's letter.
If you have experienced the loss of a loved one or a heartbreak
and not let yourself "go there" for fear of showing weakness,
please be free from that ungodly bondage.
Let us affirm you. It's OK to Cry (as Tony put it). Tears before God are precious. He loves you and has compassion on you. He understands your pain and will minister to you. He comforts those who mourn. Remember - The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Ps 34:18)
God bless you,
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What an amazing time we had in Nicaragua, filled with heartfelt ministry to hundreds of poor children from schools and feeding programs in many different cities, singing our son...
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