Grief Is A Love Word

“And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”

Genesis 6:6

After this past weekend where our country has witnessed mass shootings in two different states and the continued violence in yet another many in our country are grieving. At times like this some people question God, others look to Him for comfort. I pray all those who have been impacted by these tragic events take to heart that we have a God who identifies with us in our pain. Notice in Genesis 6:6 that God “grieved.”  As I read that verse above something Nicholas Wolterstroff wrote regarding his grieving of his son who was killed in a backpack trip accident came to mind, “if he was worth loving then he is worth grieving.” Did you know that grief is a love word? You can be “angry” or “disappointed” without loving someone. But you only grieve when love gets frustrated.

Life is a paradox in many ways. Regardless of what some might think or say life includes many regrets along the way. It has to since we are finite beings with a limited amount of time at our disposal. There always will be things left undone in this life leaving us to wish for just one more day and is why living with an eternal perspective is the only way to navigate the stormy seas we all must face. Thank God a day is coming when He will wipe away every tear from our eyes one day!

Death is a part of this life and though it is our final enemy I rejoice that it has been defeated. Knowing Jesus conquered death on Calvary’s Cross allows my family and I and others of you who grieve the loss of loved ones to do so with hope. Unlike the world around us without Christ we who are in Christ have the hope that we will see our loved ones again one day, just not today, and that is why grief is a love frustrated. I so get that.

There is no need to get over the loss of a loved one as God uses life and loss to shape us into who we are. Our lives are nothing more than the sum total of all our parts, and every person we encounter, every circumstance of life is an ingredient that God uses for His glory and our good. If we understood it all or could figure it all out we would either be God or have no need for Him and that is why we are left to trust His sovereign will when life hurts.

The good news today is we are not alone in our hurt and pain as suffering and sorrow are well known to our Lord. No one has suffered like God Himself and still God draws near to the broken-hearted and comforts us in our afflictions so that we know He is near. Don’t let pain push you away from God, loved one, draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

When you see people in pain and sorrow don’t pull away, instead draw near and allow God to use you remembering the words of the apostle Paul who said in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Remember, God’s comfort is in His presence, not in words. Just being there for people in their pain standing quietly beside them in silence speaks volumes.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2


Michael Osthimer





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