One the most widely held perceptions about Christians is that they are supposed to be perfectly happy, all the time….. So many think that the moment you become a Christian all of your life problems disappear and you can smile your way through your ‘nice - perfect - pain-free’ life and cruise to eternity.
Grief has been described as deep soul pain and anguish, heart break and heart ache. The sense of searing loss, knowing what’s been lost will never be returned. Sensing the pain of grief that feels like it will never end.
What happens when something terrible, or unexpected, or deeply painful occurs? It’s so easy for us to fall into doubt and despair.
The purpose of this blog series is to address the relationship between grief and faith. I pray these coming blogs encourage your faith, care for your hurt and support your questions.
# 1: God seems absent, uncaring or weak - Why God?
The ‘why’ question has got to be the biggest when we are confronted with deep, life-changing grief. The ‘why’ question comes in a million forms:
* Why did I lose this amazing person when God allows wicked people to still live?
* Why did God take this person, was it punishment for something they did or I did?
* Why am I hurting so deeply?
Grief can rock our faith to the very core as we have to come to terms with the reality of loss. We’ve heard that God is good and loves us, but how can this situation be good and how can a loving God allow this to happen?
# 2: Christian’s are supposed to be wealthy, happy and healthy - but I am hurting and filled with pain. Don’t you care God?
This has got to be the second hardest element of grief. You’ve prayed for God to work, to heal, to change the situation, but God seems silent. You are experiencing deep soul grief because you prayed but the person you love has gone and you are left wondering if God knows or cares how much you hurt. It’s been said that if you have enough faith God will answer and all prayers. But, He didn’t answer yours and you can’t find that perception in the Bible……..
#3: I feel so alone - Where are you God?
It’s so hard when we are experiencing deep grief to feel or see anything beyond our grief. It can be like a black hole that swallows everything up. I’ve spoken to so many people who say that loneliness hits hardest in the middle of the night when you wake up and feel that deep soul loss. You long to feel God’s presence, His peace and His care but all you feel is grief.
There is a tension with grief and faith. A Facebook type platitude isn’t going to help, you need something deeper.
Let me close with this - Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (NIV). We will unpack this some more in future blogs.
Let me know if I can pray for you - Glyn.email@example.com