Throughout the past 26 years, I have traveled and spoken on the subject of grief. I worked as a grief counselor for many years with hospice, and now on a daily basis I deal with the subject of grief in my office. However, the learning of and the "knowing" the ins and outs of grief can never prepare a person for what they go through.
Even "normal" grief, if there's any such thing, is a storm, a tsunami, to those of us left to "pick up the pieces" and go on. We know that we must go on. We must find the new normal while remembering our loved ones, and that is indeed the challenge. Maybe you are where I am right now. Struggling with the tsunami of grief over the death of my daughter is the ultimate test of my faith. You may be "there" too, whether it be grief or other trial of physical pain, anguish, betrayal, illness, loneliness, abuse or something only you are aware of.
The illustration that comes to mind is of Jesus when he was in the ship with his disciples. Now, Christ was "there" in the flesh at this time. However, he was asleep. A storm came, waves crashed and washed into the little boat almost sinking it. The disciples labored, panicked and were terrified. Then, they awakened him.
When they awakened him, they asked, "Do you not care that we are perishing?"
Calmly, Jesus arose and commanded the raging storm to cease. Then, immediately, the storm stopped. He asked them: "Why are you so fearful?"
Now, we may look on with our pious 20/20 hindsight, and say or at least think: "yeah, but Jesus was there in the flesh, that was silly. I would have never panicked if Jesus were with me." Yeah, right. We all know better. As is the case, he is here with us who know him. His presence is as much a reality as it was with the disciples in the boat in the midst of hurricane-like waves. The waves of grief come much the same. And, when they come, and I can testify as so very many of you have told me, they almost overwhelm us with their fury.
Yours might be the storm of grief. It may be a marriage or family heartache; finances that have taken a nose dive, someone you were close to may have turned their back on you and now have become like an enemy; work friction; church division; illness; or impending death. Whatever your "storm" may be, may I assure you with 100 percent of my being, that you are not alone. Whatever the wave that is crashing upon you is, he is there.
Crying out to him is key, I have found. Tell him everything. You see, he is big and can handle it.
You see, the difference between a bitter person and a better person is that a bitter person may talk "about" God. But, a "better person" talks to him. The Psalms say to pour your heart out to God. In the Hebrew (the original language of the Old Testament) the word pour means to "gush and to spill forth." Let it flow out to him and you will find the healing for your heart that you need. Time does not heal, but God heals and he uses time.
We must go on, we must press forward. Not only for ourselves, but for our loved ones and the cause of Christ. Life is brief, and I was reminded by a man this week of one of my favorite verses: "Life is but a vapour, it appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away." James 4:17b. We shall see our loved ones again. Heaven is a place; another home. We must get ready to go there, but my husband is so wonderful in reminding me, we need to have an abundant life while we are here.
Grief or another wave may be crashing upon you right now. If so, reach out and take his hand. He is there waiting to calm you, comfort you and give you peace.
"Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
or demons, or men, or whatever it be,
No water can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies." - Baker
(Kimberly Morgan, MA, is a wife and homeschool mom in Elkins. She is a counselor and life coach for Cornerstone Christian Counseling and co-founder with her husband of Kristin's Hope, a non-profit organization to bring help to children in the Appalachian mountains and also to rescue children world wide from human trafficking. Contact her at 304-637-1109.)