Godly Grief

Godly Grief

Godly grief may seem like an oxymoron at first. Doesn’t being a daughter or son of the Almighty God give you a pass on pain? After all, we learn in Romans 8:28 that all things work for our good and in 8:27, we are more than conquerors and we are promised in John 10:10 Christ came to give us an abundant life. I knew a lot of verses that promised blessings too. I used to think I had a right to peace and contentment as God’s child. That was until a long season of heavy pain gradually washed these misconceptions away.

Once the clouds cleared, I was able to see how what I went through changed my landscape. There were new shoots of understanding about pain and God after all those tears. New verses captured my attention,like Mark 8:34 which says I must deny myself, take up my cross and follow Christ. Then in Romans 5:4,it says suffering produces perseverance. Before I could see these verses I had to cry out to God, question His love for me, and even accuse Him of letting harmful events occur. Those were dark and often lonely days. After all, if God was not who I thought He was, what was left?

In time, what I discovered is God is so much bigger than I understood Him to be. I made Him small and like someone who operated like me. I assumed He thought like I did and if He wanted the best for me it would all be good according to my definition. Boy was I wrong. Thank God He didn’t let me stay in that place of ignorance. Once I could lift my head above my circumstances, He showed me how distorted my view of Him was and how inflated my view of myself was.

I am still learning how true Isaiah 55:9 is. His ways are so much higher than mine that I will never be able to comprehend even a fraction of what God knows. He doesn’t bend His will to mine; I must learn to surrender more of my will to Him each day. He helped me to sift through the rubble of circumstances and decide between the pain from others’ poor choices, my poor choices, and just living in a fallen world. There will be pain and loss because of the fall, but God can keep me from perpetuating the pain with a poor response or unrealistic expectations.

There is even Godly grief as I lay it all down at the foot of the cross in reverence for the One who truly understands suffering. Christ endured more than I ever will and He can even use every type of pain in my life. In His hands pain and loss are like pruning shears that will still cut, but in the end produce an abundance of healthy fruit. If something seems like an oxymoron, there is a good chance it is God, for He is the master of turning what I think I know upside-down.

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