Responding to Grief
Scripture: Judges 19:1-21:25
"Now the people went to Bethel and sat in the presence of God until evening, weeping loudly and bitterly. ‘O LORD God of Israel,’ they cried out, ‘why has this happened to Israel? Now one of our tribes is missing from Israel!’” (Judges 21:2-3 NLT)
The Israelites’ grief made me sad from the very beginning of today’s reading. From the death of the concubine to the outbreak of civil war, every event felt disheartening. Under the Lord’s leadership, this nation had the blood of the tribe of Benjamin on their hands. How tragic! You can hear the anguish and despair in the cries of the people.
The loss of family is devastating, whether it is to war or from natural or unnatural causes. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines grief as keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss, sharp sorrow, and painful regret. The way in which we process grief is different for everyone. What is the same is that at one time or another, we will all face sorrow. Today’s reading deals specifically with grief and physical death; however, there can be many sources of pain. Job loss, the end of a relationship, an unfulfilled dream or an unmet expectation, the death of a loved one, and many more circumstances can break our heart.
We may not understand the tragedy or timing of our loss, but we can trust that God is faithful and remains on His throne. He will care for us through this difficult season and beyond. If you are experiencing keen mental suffering, distress or loss, or have a sharp sorrow or painful regret, then these steps will guide you to peace:
- Put yourself in the presence of the Lord.
- Sit with Him awhile.
- Weep with Him.
- Talk to God about the situation.
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