Grief VS Faith? No, Grief & Faith!

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well! Despite the chaos and uncertainty that Covid 19 has brought to the world at large, I pray you are able to find beauty, joy, and the blessings.

Let’s top up our coffees and be thankful for our time together.

Readings for Mar 29, 2020; Fifth Sunday in Lent      

Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:1-11; John 11:1-53

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

These words of Jesus are part of a conversation he was having with Martha after the death of her brother Lazarus. Oh how Martha grieved.

I remember when my mom died. I remember standing beside her open casket just moments before the casket was to be closed and taken to the front of the procession line and the family was to file in behind it at the start of her funeral service. I knew that once that casket was closed, I’d never see my mom face-to-face again. Although her body lay lifeless, I could not sever myself from her. The pain of grief encompassed me: heart, body, mind, and soul.

Did I believe the words of Christ above, as if spoken to me directly: “Jesus said to [Brenda],” I am the resurrection and the life. Do you, [Brenda], believe this?” Oh yes, I believed it. I do believe it. I never stopped believing it. But, there were times when I felt guilty of feeling grief and saddness. I knew better. I knew where my mom was. I knew she was no longer in pain and misery from the cancer. I knew all that. So, in the midst of it, I questioned my faith because of my grief. If I really believed in Christ’s salvation, and knew Mom believed it too with all her heart, what was my problem? Get over it, already!

Well, it’s in the words and actions of Jesus surrounding Lazarus’ death, where “Jesus wept,” (John 11:35) that brought me great comfort. For if the one who is life eternal, the resurrection and the life, himself, wept for his deceased friend, then I can weep too. His tears did not nullify him as being the Son of God and my Saviour. His tears which expressed his deep compassion for the grieving family of his deceased beloved, are the same tears of compassion he shed when he saw my pain. I found comfort in knowing that Christ was not angry at me or questioning me, but instead, he had compassion on me and wept for me. In the same way, find comfort in knowing that Christ loves you and has compassion on you in your pain and grief. Do not try to deny your grief or toughen up or get over it because you feel like that’s what you should do. But take your grief, your sadness and your pain to the Lord, and in the midst of it proclaim as Martha did, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”(John 11:27) Then, let him heal you in his time, in your time. Finally, go and be compassionate to those who are working through their grief. Be patient and compassionate, weeping with them, and praying for them. Christ will carry them through their painful season, as he does with each and every one of us, if we let him.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I believe you are the resurrection and the life, and that by believing I have life eternal. Thank-you for your great love and compassion for me. Hold me close to you when storms come and I must say an earthly good-bye to loved ones. Help us all through our pain of loss and grief, to an unexplainable peace and joy. In your name I pray. AMEN!

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