good grief

Good Grief – The Pain That Heals All Others

Nathan Smith Christian Maturity, Life Skills

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There is nothing enjoyable about hurting. People can say they like being sore after a workout or that they get a rush from muscling through challenging physical feats but, even still, it’s not pleasant.  What’s worse than physical pain is emotional pain.  Deep wounds that come from damaging words, abuse or the loss of a loved one are challenging to navigate and painful to deal with.  The only true way to fully heal from such situations is to grieve.  But grieving itself is painful and we typically prefer to avoid it at all costs because we feel we’ve already hurt enough.   However, much like a wound must be cleaned and sutured before it can properly heal (which is painful) we must be able to grieve our losses before they can truly heal.  But why must we hurt more, in order to hurt less?

Many of us have seen grief drive people to very dark places.  There certainly are unhealthy ways of grieving which can make us want to avoid it all the more.  However, the Bible talks about there being a drastic difference between ‘good grief’ and ‘bad grief’. The Apostle Paul uses the terms ‘worldly sorrow’ and ‘godly sorrow’ when comparing the two.  Worldly sorrow is the kind of grief that leads us to despair then leaves us there.  It is unfulfilling and empty.  This kind of grief creates feelings of hopelessness and causes us to feel like we’re in a constant state of lack.  When we find ourselves in this place of grief we are consumed with rejecting our pain and demanding another reality.  The problem is that demanding a different reality doesn’t create a new one.  We are left with the same hurtful reality we have been facing.  Then we either get angry, depressed or simply shut down all together.  Surely this isn’t what God wants for people but neither do we sit in judgment of those who find themselves in that place of despair.  Without condemning those who are already hurting I simply want to lovingly highlight another way.  This other way is called godly sorrow and it leads to life.  This kind of sorrow leads us THROUGH our pain and brings us to a place of brokenness that God alone can heal.  Paul talks about this in 2 Corinthians 7.

A Safe Place To Break

After writing a difficult letter of correction to the Corinthian church, some were wounded by Paul’s challenging words.  However, Paul points out that they allowed themselves to break and accept their inability to fix things on their own which led them to repentance; a place where all things can be made new by a loving God. This acceptance that they couldn’t change their situation in their own strength lead them to a place of brokenness.  God is a Master of healing and restoring broken things.  There is a prerequisite though.  In order to be restored you must allow yourself to be broken.  And herein lies the difference.  Worldly sorrow is filled with revenge and rage, depression and bitterness and everything that comes from wanting something to be a certain way and not being able to make it happen.  Instead of accepting the painful new reality, we rebel and rage against it or we fold and refuse to continue living a full life.  When we engage in Godly sorrow, we accept that things are not the way they are supposed to be, and in that place of brokenness we cry, and we hurt and the God of all comfort is able to do what only He can do.  He restores our soul. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Same Storm, Different View)

Have you ever heard of a doctor having to break someone’s arm, or jaw simply so it could grow back straiter and stronger?  It happens.  It seems counterintuitive that breaking someone’s jaw would improve the quality of their life but in some instances it is the only way a person’s situation can improve.  Now, they don’t do it MMA style and there are no 2 x 4’s involved.  No, the breaking takes place in a safe environment and with much care because the point of the entire process is not the breaking, it’s the healing and wholeness on the other side of the pain.  This is a picture of good grief, or Godly sorrow.  It is about the newness of life that comes once we endure the breaking and the grieving. (Click Here To Ream My Post ‘Wildflowers & Broken Dreams’)

Oh Good Grief

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount ‘blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’  The realiy is that many of us have not received comfort in certain areas because we simply haven’t been willing to mourn.  Mourning is different than crying.  Mourning is recognizing and accepting loss.  When we refuse to accept, we insulate ourselves from true mourning.  The problem is that we must mourn in order to truly receive comfort.  No mourning, no comfort.  It is in that brokenness that healing can begin.  This is why ‘good grief’ is called the pain that heals all others.  It is a tool God gives us to help us break in a loving, safe place so that we can be made whole.  Yes, it is painful.  No, the fact that it will help you doesn’t make it any easier.  But it does make it hopeful.  And in our places of pain we could all use more hope. (Click Here To Read ‘He’s On Every Page of You Story’)

So when life disappoints you and horrible things rob you of your peace and your joy, don’t try and hold it all together.  Don’t become a victim that blames everyone and everything for your hurt and pain.  Don’t demand revenge on life.  Run to the God who formed you in your mother’s womb and break.   Mourn your loss and the pain you’ve been through.  Surround yourself with those that will weep with you and not try to fix everything. In that place, the healer shows Himself strong.  In this way, we trust God to do what He does best.   He turns our mourning into dancing and our weeping into joy! (Click Here To Read ‘Dead and Buried or Planted and Growing’)

From the Bible

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, – Psalm 30:11 NLT

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4 NLT

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. 11 Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! – 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 NLT

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