GRIEF AND FAITHAug 06, 2022
GRIEF AND FAITH
Considering the subject of faith during times of grief is viewed by most as a personal issue. And so it is. How one brings faith into the grieving process varies quite a bit. Some lean on their faith completely while grieving a loss, while others totally dismiss it altogether from their lives. Others pull their faith “off the shelf” when hard things enter their lives, while some simply glance at faith over their shoulders briefly when grief encompasses their hearts.
Regardless of your position or experience, one of the challenges comes from the fact that one’s faith is only as strong and dependable as the OBJECT of your faith. Religion itself can be the object. The clergy chosen for the service can be the object. Or, your faith in a mystical ‘something’ or creed can be your object of faith. Increasingly, some only have faith in themselves.
My challenge moving forward is: “What if your faith is in God and the promises of the Bible?”
During the months following my first wife’s terminal cancer diagnosis I felt mostly numb spiritually. No easy answers to the “Why?” question came. I simply went through each day doing my duties.
Soon however, I began to dig deeper into my heart for some relief and found it in my faith in the truths in God’s word. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me: your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) I realized that truth did not just apply to someone who was on the verge of death, but it was for me too. I also leaned heavily on the support and comfort offered by my pastor.
My second wife’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis only came three months before her passing. The previous five years were times of uncertainty. We knew something was wrong but no one was able to pin-point it. Our faith in the fact that we still had a future together was deep rooted in the many ways we had seen the God’s provision in our lives in the past. We had confidence that He would not fail us now. And sure enough, He did not. Even in her elevation to heaven (that better place), God was there for both of us.
My faith did not eliminate the hurt and grief I experienced after each of my wives died. My heart was broken deeply and it was not easy. However, the hope and uncommon comfort I received in the months following their deaths was special.
Again, it was the Bible that gave me a bigger purpose for my grief. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (II Corinthians 1:3, 4)
Regardless of where you stand with the subject of faith and grief, your story can be of help to others. By telling it you can also find purpose and perhaps some healing.
Want to learn how to be a better friend to someone experiencing loss?
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