Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Dealing with Grief

Believe it or not, this is a time of year that many people fall into depression.  Traumatic events, such as loss of a loved one can trigger some powerful and sometimes uncontrollable emotions.

Grief is a cycle that cannot be completed in a cookie-cutter fashion.  Each individual is unique.  No one can tell us how we are supposed to feel or how we are to grieve... that's ridiculous!  I did find a chart online that helps us better understand what one who battles depression might be experiencing at any given time, some of which may be repeated over and over by the individual until adjustment is reached:


As a Christian, you may feel added guilt that you aren't "giving your problem over to the Lord", but let me assure you today, your feelings are YOUR feelings and you are entitled (allowed) to have them.  And by the way- YES, it's OK to seek out medical attention if your symptoms persist for more than a month or resurface 3 or more months following a traumatic event.  That doesn't make you any less of a Christian or a failure!

God understands the struggles of man, that is why He chose to come to earth as a man- so He could sympathize with our weaknesses.  God doesn't think any less of you because you are down.  He is the creator of emotion and the Word says He understands.  He wants to bring comfort and healing to your wounded emotions and spirit (even your physical body when needed).  The verse that kept coming to my mind this morning as I awoke in prayer is found in Isaiah 53 concerning Jesus:

"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised and we esteemed Him not.  Surely He took our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted."

That doesn't sound like an unsympathetic God!  He WAS a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.  Yes, Jesus Himself!  Sure, there are plenty of other examples of men suffering in the Bible: Job, David, or Paul for example, but when you consider that this is GOD and He was described as a man of sorrows... wow!

The verse following gives us hope... the remedy for our sorrow (verses 5)  "But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought US peace was upon Him and by His wounds we are healed."

Sometimes the mere approach of Christmas brings added pain to our suffering.  Then a revelation hit me this morning in regard to Christmas that I wanted to share.  The verses that I was thinking of also come from Isaiah, chapter 9.  When I considered the verses with an application to grief/sorrow, they took on a whole new meaning:

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.... For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government shall be on his shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end."

He has come to bring peace to us today.  Not as the world gives, but a peace that passes all understanding.  Christmas should be a time of renewed hope that Jesus has come to set us free!

Finally, a verse of hope that the Lord led me to in the wee hours of the morning.  I had it marked in my Bible in big, bold letters that this was for me... and I'm sure it will minister to many of you out there as well.  (In fact, the passage had two dates beside it 11/98 and 6/05- again the Lord has prepared the way for healing in my life a long time ago- in fact He had a plan before He even came to earth!)

Isaiah 58:8  "Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard."

I have often referred to Isaiah as my "life book" (one that best describes my life) and again today, it has proven true. 

Friend, I am praying today for God to strengthen your frame, repair the foundations of your life, restore joy to your life in this hour, and remind you of the purpose of His birth today! 

God bless!

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