Grief comes to all of us.
Grief is an intense sorrow or something that causes keen distress or suffering.
This is the stuff of life. We will all have grief over loss that we suffer.
There is the feeling of losing something dear when change happens, when a loved one dies, when we move, when a season of life comes to an end, or when a relationship dies.
Grief carries with it the pain of loss. Loss of life, loss of the familiar, loss of dreams.
We want to know life as it was before the loss happened. We want to continue as normal. We don’t know if we will ever be happy again. And then, in the middle of it all, there is the loneliness.
Loneliness is a painful feature of grief
In her book, The Path of Loneliness, Elizabeth Elliot says:
The pain of loneliness is one way in which He (that is, God) wants to get our attention (for) our hearts are lonely till they rest in Him who made us for Himself.
Loneliness is a hurdle of grief, especially when you are grieving the loss of close family.
Elizabeth Elliot who lost her first husband to martyrdom on the mission field, and her second to cancer, says:
Our loneliness cannot always be fixed, but it can always be accepted as the very will of God for now and that it turns into something beautiful.
Consider the musings of Job in his grief, “My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me” (Job 17:1, ESV).
At the end of the book of Job, he eventually comes to know that whatever had happened to him would work out for his benefit, for our benefit. As Romans 8:28 assures us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, ]for those who are called according to his purpose”(ESV).
Job is able to say to God, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
Consider also the words of the man of sorrows who was well acquainted with grief: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ and know that because he was forsaken, because he took on our sin on himself, and the Father turned his back on Jesus for a moment of time, we are NOT forsaken. No, never!
Not forsaken in our grief, not forsaken in our loneliness, for we know that God is for us, God is with us, God is in us.
God is with you in your grief, in your loneliness. He is the one who wants you to rest in Him who made you for himself.
May I add, let’s remember those among us who grieve, and keep reaching out to them. They need you to remember, to identify with their pain, not to ignore their grief, or make light of it with ‘feel better’ statements.
How are you able to see Christ in your grief and loneliness?