by Pastor Patricia Johnson, Luther United Methodist Church
Grief is described as one’s response to an important loss. The response is marked by deep pain and agonizing loss resulting in severe and prolonged distress. A great loss of security, such as one this community experienced just recently, will shake us to the core of our being, our very foundation, it threatens our very meaning and purpose in life. We may question God in the mix, and we certainly face our own certain mortality, too.
Grief is all around us, we all experience loss. For family and friends, the loss may be more significant in that one’s relationship is changed. No two experiences of grief are the same. Each is individual, based on ones past experiences of losses, with one’s sense of community, one’s context and one’s interpersonal connection with the person involved.
We are called to embrace and walk into the grief and not to dismiss it or push it down, but rather work through it by praying, talking or journaling. Psalm 23 v. 4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and staff—they comfort me.” Only with God’s help can we, as a community, move through grief with resilience and hope moving forward with His grace and mercy leading and guiding us.
Sometimes God does answer our crisis prayer right in the moment. Other times there is no immediate answer. We feel forgotten and assume our prayer is just not working. Yet when God waits with the answer, He offers something far deeper. He offers grace, God’s divine influence, operating in us to give us strength and wisdom, patience and endurance. And He offers His mercy; His love and compassion holding us through the storm. And so He helps us in our need.* (Excerpted from The Life Project, Power to Change Ministries:6/27/2017.)
To help deal with loss, one should continue praying and look expectantly—with HOPE– to receive His divine influence, His compassion and mercy, His help with just what you need to carry you through. God Himself invites you to receive these things from Him. Accept the invitation and experience His love for you!
**Experiencing Grief ?–Pastor Patricia Johnson of Luther United Methodist Church is available for listening and praying with you, if you will reach out and call her at 405-742-7081.