When we think of grief and loss, we usually imagine the emotions we feel when someone we love dies. But the reality is, there is loss in every stage of life, whether it be lost dreams, the loss of a relationship and more. Grief and loss seem to come out of nowhere and interrupt our everyday lives. But as Christians, we can look to the example of Jesus to learn how to deal with grief and loss in a spiritually healthy way.
3 STEPS TO BIBLICAL GRIEVING
Jesus demonstrates for us what Biblical, spiritually healthy grieving looks like in Matthew 26. In this passage from the New Testament, Jesus didn’t bury His pain of knowing what He would go through on the Cross. Instead, Jesus brought his pain to God the Father, surrounded himself with people to support Him and prayerfully processed his pain with God. Ultimately, in the Garden of Gethsemane, it is here that Jesus teaches us 3 steps to Biblical grieving.
STEP #1: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR GRIEF AND LOSS
When Jesus brought his pain to God the Father in the Garden, he first acknowledged what he was going through. He didn't stuff his grief and he didn't engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms. He went straight to God the Father and expressed emotions like sadness and sorrow. On the other hand, when we stuff our grief down and try to carry on without paying any attention to it, eventually, we leak our emotions in other ways. For example, if you're going through a loss but trying to stay strong around others, eventually those emotions leak out. They may end up expressed in the form of passive-aggression, sarcasm, a cutting tone or even the silent treatment to those you love.
STEP #2: WAITING IN THE CONFUSING IN-BETWEEN
After acknowledging your grief, the next step in Biblical grieving is a waiting season. Honestly, as human beings we just want to get through the tough stuff quick. It's very understandable to want the situation to resolve. But in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus dealt with a confusing in-between too. He asked God the Father three times to take away the "cup" of suffering that he would endure on the Cross. Then, he had to wait.
When we do not know what the future may hold for us or how to make sense of an ongoing crisis, we're in the confusing in-between stage. We may be tempted to find reasons for our suffering, but that's not the point of this stage. Journeying through grief and loss in a spiritually healthy way is about remaining open to the way God wants to transform us in the waiting. For example, in Matthew 26:42 Jesus prays: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Here, Jesus surrenders to God's will and way of accomplishing His redemptive work.
STEP #3: LETTING THE OLD BIRTH THE NEW
The third and final step of Biblical grieving is not about letting go, but letting that grief bless you. When it comes to the Cross, the disciples grieved that Jesus had been killed. But, His death was not the end of the story. Three days later, Jesus rose from the grave and birthed something better in the lives of every believer. Jesus' death and resurrection marked a new beginning for all of us who believe in Him.
If we allow God to let the old birth the new, then in His timing, we will be blessed. If we embrace these losses for the mercies that they are, God can do a profound work in and through us.
What is Jesus teaching you in your own garden of grief and loss? We pray that Jesus will lead you through any grief you face with the hope of what He is birthing on the other side.
As you learn how to develop an Emotionally Healthy Spirituality in your life and relationships, we pray the Holy Spirit will spark a spiritual revolution of healing in your life and home. To continue learning, check out the below additional content from Liquid Church:
- ARTICLE: When You Hit A Wall In Your Faith - At some point, every Christian hits a wall in their journey with Jesus-- a crisis that’s beyond your control. But in His mercy, God can use that wall or situation to transform your character to be more like Christ! Click here to read the article on The Liquid Blog.
- ARTICLE: How Family Dynamics Impact You - God's choice to birth you into the family you grew up in has a huge impact on who you are. Do you know how your family dynamics impact who you are today as a follower of Christ? Click here to read the article on The Liquid Blog.