Grief = Darkness

Many of us go through grief. It is a dark, inevitable fact of life. We all have examples of experiencing pain, rejection, oppression, and even death. The questions that Christians run into is that even with the promise hope and resurrection, we still struggle with Grief. Why do we experience it? And where is that hope we were promised?

One thing about grief is that it can go indefinitely, which is the scariest aspect of grief. We like to have some resolution to these types of things. The one thing we cannot stand is not resolution to a story, especially our own. We want to be vindicated and brought into a setting of peace and tranquility. When that is interrupted, we begin to search for resolution. It can be mental escape, physical exercise  even searching for explanations that can help us cope with the reality. The list of our coping mechanisms is extensive. Regardless of the mechanism, however, we still have grief and have to live with it.

It also makes others uncomfortable with us. People do not like interruptions in order to mourn with someone. They would rather ignore problems than deal with them, even if it is respectable to help the person who is hurting. This puts grievers in a very tough situation, since they find it hard to find someone to grieve with or an ear to help them through such tough situation. Although inexcusable, it happens all the time

Honestly, in this fallen world, this is a dark time and it is easy to be depressed many find themselves in a hopeless situation that is not helped by those around them. The Church too has suffered from this reality. We are filled with the suffering and the ones who want to stay away from it. It seems on the surface that we can say that this is just the way of people and that if people want help they should contact their pastor or psychologist. But is that the way the Church should operate?

To answer that question, we turn to what the Church has touted for the last 2000 years; we are waiting for and living in the light of the resurrection. I know that sounds weird and confusing, but it’s true. We believe firmly that we will be resurrected to the ultimate existence of life here on this earth and live a transformed lifestyle because Jesus the King was risen from the dead. We have a hope, even in the midst of the moment of despair and grief. We even find these themes of hope in the Old Testament. Ecclesiastes is one of the more depressing books of the Bible. We see in the first few verses of the book that “everything is meaningless,” according to the author. Even towards the end of the book, in Chapters 9-10, there are terrible circumstances for even good people. Yet in chapter 11, we see that everything, even life, is a gift. It should amaze us to have the opportunity to be in relationship with God. At the end of the book, in chapter 12, we see again that things seem meaningless, but there is one thing that is not, and that is be judged righteous by God.

What does that mean for the Church? Righteousness and Hope. And that means doing things, even inconvenient things, in order to meet that true sadness of some of the people in the world. We hope in the one who brings the future. According to John 3, that reality has been offered to everyone, it just depends on us to deliver the message and them to accept and live in a life of worship. That last statement gives hope. God promises life, and one that is full of meaning and hope starting today.

What has you in grief or despair? Do you know someone else who is experiencing this? What does God’s will say about or grief or our response to it? Are you living righteousness in Christ’s image or are you finding hope in Christ’s Resurrection?