As with yesterday, the following comes courtesy of Grace Hill Media, and makes a compelling point about the vulnerability which accompanies grief. When we are desperate–hurting, grieving, alone–we are often altogether too open to anything which will assuage the pain, numb it, drown out its voice.
Yet that very voice always comes screaming back, shrieking like a banshee, claws like meat hooks piercing our souls. The late, great C.S. Lewis well said that "our passions are not too strong, but too weak… We muck about with drink and sex, when all the the splendors of heaven are open to us."
Yet when we are down in the very depths of despair we don't see that splendor. Grief, loss, pain pale the light, and we reach out for whatever shred of comfort we can find.
Sometimes that takes us to dark places. Whatever comfort we find there turns to ashes and dust, blowing away upon a baleful wind.
And then there is hell to pay…
We know this, but when we're that far gone into despondency we don't care. God doesn't seem real any longer, or if we cling to a shred of faith in his existence, it's in a capricious deity who doesn't care.
Else why would he cause, or allow, us such pain?
Thus the downward spiral goes.
Fortunately, as David wrote, even the darkness is as light to him. And the thing about hitting bottom is that we've hit bottom. We may not be able to see it at the time, but there is a way back up…
Without further ado, Grace Hill Media:
Comforting Those Who Need Us Most
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
Life is a miracle filled with God’s blessings, love, and cherished memories. Life also comes with struggles, temptations, and loss. At some point in our lives, we will grieve the loss of a loved one. Our grief is one of the hardest things to overcome – and it manifests differently for everyone. We as God’s creatures love deeply and thus we feel loss strongly.
For many, it takes time, faith, prayer, and support to heal from the loss of a loved one. But for some, the journey may be too difficult and their burden too heavy. We’ve all heard that there are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But what if someone struggles to heal? What happens if they get stuck in one of the stages of grief – anger- for example can lead to a great deal of self-destruction. How far might a person go “to make the pain go away.”
There’s an upcoming film “Annabelle: Creation” that deals with this very premise. I’m not usually a fan of horror movies but there’s something in the storyline of this upcoming film that’s worth talking about. The movie begins with two parents – the Mullins – who suffer through the unimaginable and sudden death of their daughter. Their grief is unbearable, and it is when they are at their weakest and most vulnerable that temptation and evil comes with whispers of consolation, and a way of “seeing” their little girl again. I don’t want to give away any more plot spoilers, but needless to say the Mullins give into temptation, and a supernatural battle against evil takes place in their home. If you’re a fan of horror movies, you may really enjoy this film which releases in theaters this Friday, August 11.
Though the Mullins are fictional characters, the idea that we’ll do anything to hold on to a loved one who has passed and/or that evil wants to take advantage of us during a time when we are vulnerable can be very real.
Grief, especially when it comes unexpectedly, can crush the spirit of even the strongest among us. As Christians, it is my hope that whenever we come across someone who is grieving, we reach out to comfort and support them with their immediate needs (ex. cooking dinner for the family, babysitting the children, etc.).
It is also my hope that we minister and share God love with them and remind them that they are not alone. As Christians it is our duty to take care, comfort, and pray for one another. Healing may take weeks, months, or years, but it is a comfort when they know they can turn to God and to their neighbors to help them through.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:3
“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”