Grief

Have you ever had one of those days when for no apparent reason you are down? Though I could point to several areas that are concerns for me. Nothing stands out as a reason to be depressed or despondent. And yet, here I am.

I want to cry but what would I cry about? I’m not sure  and so I don’t. It’s a strange feeling. Somewhere down inside of me, I get the impression that I am grieving.  We so often associate grief with the loss of a loved one. But honestly, grief covers a much wider base.

Yes, we grieve the loss of a loved one and there are so many griefs that come along side just that one….The grief of a future with that person no longer there…the loss of the laughs and talks and time spent with that person.

But then there is also a grieving of other situations.  We grieve dreams that are no longer a part of our lives. We grieve missed opportunities. We grieve for loved ones…when their lives take paths that we see as destructive. We grieve moments without meaning. So much of my life seems wasted.  We grieve resources squandered. We grieve for a nation that seems to be taking paths down concerning roads. Or a business or a family or….(the list goes on)

Wow! I could get depressed…I walk the rim of this deep well and it would be so easy to slide in.  But, grief is a good thing…It’s healthy…it’s perspective. It’s important that we recognize it and feel it. It’s important that we are honest with it  and we need to direct it.

So where do we direct it? I am reminded of When Jesus first entered the temple after being in the wilderness and when He was just beginning His ministry. The Bible says in Luke 4: 16b-21 He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind,

to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.  He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

That scripture speaks of Jesus and it goes on to say, (Isaiah 61:1-3)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

because the Lord has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives

and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

3     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty

instead of ashes,

the oil of joy

instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise

instead of a spirit of despair.

As I take my mourning to Him, as I lay at His feet the things that grieve, He picks them up and takes them and replaces them with (among other things as you can see here) a crown of beauty…..the oil of joy….a garment of praise…. setting me free from brokenness…prisons and darkness. Wow! What a trade…but it’s up to me… I can carry it or I can give it to Him to carry……”Jesus I come…You see…it’s too much for me and I see your hands outstretch to take them from me. Here, you can have them. Thank you that I walk this path with You. I don’t ever have to go it alone. Show me the way to go and the paths that you are leading. And today Please bear my grief…I am bowed beneath it and You are so willing.”

If that’s you as well today, just try it…See if it doesn’t make a difference.