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Got Grief? By Pastor Max

by Pastor Max Phillips

Dear Devotion-ers: Got grief?

Chances are you do and that's good. Who knew? Despite all the authoritative books that have been written on the subject, this much I’ve learned from personal and pastoral experience, your grief is different. It neither starts up nor shuts down according to a science. It can be at rest today and back fresh a week from Thursday. It is true that the passage of time dry’s up the tears, but the person

al space that missing person occupied never leaves, and…..thank God for that! Grieving, despite popular belief, isn’t about gently forgetting a loved one and our job isn’t to overcome it. It is not a never intended emotion that somehow escaped God’s creation laboratory, and like a Wuhan virus now wreaks havoc on a world without natural immunity. Grieving is God’s way of healing with a special balm, Himself. We humans don’t store some of our emotions in a good way. With grief we either stuff it into a cranium closet, locking the door hoping (even to God) it keeps quiet in there, or we butter our toast with it and eat it every morning at the internet café and everything in between. Grief has a purpose as it flows into our function. It is not there to harm us, neither to overwhelm us, rather to remind us that it is not empty and without effect. How could it be? God, all of Him, is in it. As I write this my mother’s birthday is coming and going. There won’t be any parties, and no phone calls home to wish her well. And as grief has taught me repeatedly in my own family or with those that I’ve ministered bedside to, there’s no need for that well-check. She’s already well with no need to wish it. This marks mom’s 36th birthday with Jesus in heaven, but she is never far away in thought, thanks to grief which puts the tender memory section of our brains on notice to be ready to remember when needed about

the loved one gone and their new condition. Better. Happier. As real as ever. With the Lord. Well and Waiting. My Counselor friends would surely admonish me to separate out bad grief from good, so I will. Let me construct it this way, with the bad grief advice we often get and give in the form of a statement and the good grief in the parenthesis. 😊 “You’ll get over it.” (Hope not.) “Let it go.” (Definitely not.) “It’ll get better.” (Already is!) “I wish I knew what to say to help your hurting…” (God is in it!)

Got grief? I sure hope so! Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Discussion:

  1. Grieving is a natural response to sin, an emotion that is shared by God. Make you think?

  2. Ever thank God for your grief? Think it might help?

God is good and Jesus is the balm

that is grief’s healing agent!

Pastor Max

Christ Lutheran Church, Bouton, IA & Zion Lutheran Church, Ogden, IA


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