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Monday, January 28, 2013

To My Brothers and Sisters in Christ Who Are Grieving . . . and Those Who Love Them

By Lance Cordle
     Another year’s passing has involved the death of people we dearly love. The season recognized by our culture as the “holidays” and a time of joy and laughter will be difficult because of the death of someone we love. I want you to be able to live in this time, as you do in other times of the year—with information that will help you to live a life of meaning and purpose. With that goal in mind, please consider the following words.
     To my brothers and sisters who are grieving:
¨Trust—God has never promised that we would not have pain. We may be angry with him; we may even doubt things about him, but eventually we will have to trust—let that trust be in God (Proverbs 3:5, 6). Talk to him about your feelings — the negative ones (disappointment, sadness, and yes, anger). Also, trust someone who is a proven friend (Proverbs 17:17) and talk to them as well. ¨Grieve—The pain you feel as a result of loss is as inevitable (and as real) as the bruises and lacerations suffered in a bodily injury. You would not quickly recover from a serious bodily injury, nor would we expect you to. Cry when and where you must, without embarrassment. The tears you shed and the sighs you heave are as natural as blood from a physical wound. We would expect changes in you as a result of such an injury, therefore we will not expect you to be the same after a severe wound to your heart. Try to resist the urge to physically medicate — It only puts off the inevitable facing of reality. (By the way, you are NOT going crazy.) ¨Live—Adjustments will have to be made in a life that was once intertwined with another. Time will be needed to make those adjustments, but time itself will not make them, nor will it heal (as so many mistakenly believe and say). When living, do things at your pace, and at the depth of involvement you can stand, not at the expectations of other people. Appreciate the life and love of the person you are mourning, but seek to come to terms with the reality of their death.
     To those who love someone who is grieving:
¨Be Aware—If you are a spouse or best friend of the one grieving, you hold one of the keys to their adjustment—you can (and will) help or hinder. You must be prepared to “walk” beside them (mostly quietly) as they make the journey. Pray to God and seek good information for your task. ¨Be There—Be helpful, but don’t hover; encourage, but don’t force. Your presence can be made known by cards and notes as well. Be ready to listen, but don’t talk too soon or too much (Job 2:13; 16:2).
- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com


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