We’re all familiar with grieving when someone dies.
But we can be grieving over other things and not realize it.
Working really hard at something, only to watch it slip through your fingers. This is grieving, too.
Disappointments, unfairness, betrayal, and more.
We are aware of the unhappiness playing in the background. Not enough to plunge you into despair, but you feel it swirling around your heart, wanting to remind you of what wasn’t.
So what do we do?
We often turn to temporary comforts to help. Everything from “me time” – a day at the spa, a vacation, shopping – to alcohol, sex, and illegal drugs.
There’s nothing wrong with some practical (healthy) comforts. But that unhappiness is still there, isn’t it?
I have been well versed with the God-is-doing-a-new-thing in contemporary Christian circles. While I would never limit God’s ability to do new things, I have found it can play with our emotions.
Mostly, it does nothing for the unhappiness every one of us feel.
When you go home after a contemporary worship service with lots of exhortations and edification, that unhappiness is waiting for you at home.
How are you on Monday morning? When none of that is around?
Recently, I heard a preacher on the radio say something about being careful not to trade the old hymns for contemporary music; lyrics which often reflect how we feel.
The hymns are rich with truth and honestly, when I have suffered, when I have grieved, it was the hymns I wanted.
I found out a long time ago, the way to manage unhappiness is to accept it. Yes, there are things we can do to change our situation. But if there is nothing we can do, we have to accept it. But we do not accept it without hope. We have the hope of eternity.
If we are filling ourselves with the kind of faith these days that require energy to “name and claim”, “stake our claim”, or the like – consider it may be much to do about nothing if it does not sustain your soul day and night.
That mindset did not get me through my oldest son’s death and it doesn’t get me through grieving over other personal disappointments.
What gets me through is the awareness of being anchored to the Lord. No bells. No whistles. A quiet, presence of God’s promises to be near the brokenhearted. And the reminder of our home in eternity as promised by God.
Shouldn’t Christians be about living with eternity in our view instead of God-wants-to-fix-this? Yes, we should ask and pray. But we also keep eternity in our view. It should be a very present thought and common in conversation.
We are supposed to encourage each other with these words. These words will carry you through anything.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
Therefore encourage one another with these words.