I find myself in a season of grief right now. I am experiencing the loss of too many friends, one every few weeks since last fall. Most have been men; all have had close friendships with me for 25, 35 or 40 plus years. I miss their wisdom, their humor and their availability to help me solve problems. I miss their prayers. I am acquainted with grief from multiple perspectives, but always the hardest is my own. Grief cannot be rushed nor can it be ignored. There is a rhythm to grief, like the rhythm of the tides, but tides flow on a schedule; grief does not. I do just fine for a time, and then a crashing wave will wash over me, many times catching me unaware. So I am seeking to be more careful as I listen to my grieving heart, seeking to recognize the signs and the signals.
Healing comes as I acknowledge the ache and embrace the wave. On some levels grieving is a wound. Heartsick and heartbroken are words of love and grief. On other levels grieving is a blessing. The pain of loss is real because the love is real. The lessons learned are remembered because of gratitude and grace.
The Cross is genuine, and Easter is coming. Death is certain but not the final chapter. Believers know this is true because of Easter Sunday. Christ has conquered sin and death itself. In a conversation with a grief-stricken woman, Jesus confronts her by boldly proclaiming, “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11). Always embrace your grief. Acknowledge the pain, anger and/or fear that hides in the quietness. Remember the promise of life for God will and does take care of you.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Easter is always near. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.