Monday, June 12, 2017
Where is God in Grief?
Where is God?
In my last post, I wrote about that foggy brain feeling caused by grief. I wrote about how strange everything became after I experienced loss.
That foggy brain feeling also applied to my spiritual walk with God.
Never was there a time that I felt God had abandoned me, but I must admit there were times when I sat at my desk at home with an open Bible before me unable to pray.
The words wouldn't come.
I had lost my older sister in October and five months later, I lost my mother. We had found my mother in her home. She had died alone at age 79.
I was told by the Crisis Prevention paramedic that I suffered a traumatic loss which is different than a loss from chronic illness. I was told I needed counseling.
At first, I didn't listen to the paramedic. I thought I was just fine. But later, I began to understand what she was talking about.
I understood when I began to feel God wasn't there anymore.
Where is God in Our Grief?
Once I obtained support through my grief, only then did I learn that my spiritual walk with God was affected, too.
How about you? Did your experience with grief affect your relationship with God? Did you begin to feel anger toward Him? Did you, like Job, begin to question Him?
Nowhere in scripture are we told that it is wrong to call out to God in our pain. Instead, He tells us in His word that He prefers a broken heart. He loves a broken and contrite spirit.
As I sat there before my Bible that one day, I honestly had no words to speak. I was dumbfounded that I no longer had my sister or my mom with me anymore. The thought just couldn't materialize in my head. The words I wanted to say to God, I knew would be wrong. So, I sat there and stared at God's word.
He is There
A few weeks later, the fog began to lift and God's word became more meaningful to me than ever before.
But how? How could I still cry out to God after experiencing so much loss in such a short period of time? Wasn't I angry? Wasn't I full of doubt? Did I doubt His existence? I mean, how can a good God allow so much suffering?
Isn't that the ancient question? How can a GOOD GOD allow pain and suffering?
After analyzing this concept, I have come to the conclusion that, as with all things pertaining to God, there is a purpose everything. Yes, there is even a purpose for evil:
Evil (moral, natural, or supernatural evil) will either draw us closer to Him or push us further away from Him.
I came away from the experience of writing two eulogies in five months time that the purpose of this form of natural evil was to draw me closer to God.
What about you? Did your loss of a loved one draw you closer to God? Or did it push you further away? Did you find yourself doubting His existence?
If so, you would not be alone.
In the Midst of the Storm
Many people feel alone in their grief. Many begin to doubt God.
The purpose of storms is apparent: The winds make the trees stronger. Their roots dig in deeper to the soil and the pressure of the wind on the tree trunks make them thicker to withstand stronger winds as they grow. The wind blows the pollution out of the air. The rain makes the grass grow. The rain replenishes the earth.
Without the storms, everything suffers.
And when the storm passes? Crystal blue skies are left behind.
But sometimes, those storms are devastating. We all have seen how tornadoes and hurricanes rip through a community leaving destruction and death in their wake.
Why does God sometimes quiet the storms, yet allow others to destroy?
Again, He allows this form of evil to draw us closer to Him or push us further away. But one thing we can know for certain is that He is there in the midst of the storm.
We never have to endure it alone.
And that's the lesson I learned through this storm...this hurricane called grief. I never had to endure it alone. God is sure and steadfast. God knew my spirit was so broken that the words wouldn't come out of me.
So, He patiently waited...and waited...until that day when the words came. They came flooding out and He was there to listen.
The answer to my "why" never came, but I no longer needed those answers.
I began to heal.
What about you? Have you been able to talk to and walk with God yet? If not, what's keeping you from your spiritual walk with God?
I hope this post has helped you understand that God has never left you. He is simply patiently wading with you through the waves of your grief storm.
He is that anchor that holds us. He is that stronghold we can reach out to. He is that shield that protects us.
Never question it, He is there in the midst of your grief.