A time to grieve and a time to dance.
Grief is never wanted or easy. Grief is said to be the cost of loving someone. When you grieve the loss of a loved one, you grieve the dreams that come along with the loss.
My daughter is taking the sudden death of her godfather extremely hard. Listening and allowing her to unpack her emotions without unsolicited advice is what she and those who grieve needs most.
With tears streaming down her face, she said to me, “Who is going to walk me down the aisle now that my father, grandfather, and godfather are all gone?”
Dreams don’t always come neatly tied with a pretty bow. If it is God’s will, one day my daughter will experience the man of her dreams waiting for her at the end of the aisle. But for now, she is trying to wrap her head around losing someone who means so much to her not being in her life. Grief that is all too familiar that has been reawakened.
To minimize grief—to hurry through grief—to make it less than—is to fail to grasp Solomon’s poetic reminder in Ecclesiastes 3:4 that there is “a time to grieve”.
Author Nancy Gunthrie in her book: What Grieving People Wish You Knew About What Really Helps (and what really hurts) writes: Words welcomed by one grieving person may be offensive to another. There are no one-size-fits-all words or deeds. There are just lots of hurting people who feel sad and lonely and are desperate to know that there are people around them who are willing to get outside of themselves to enter into their sorrow in a meaningful way.
Grief takes time. It is not programmed like an event on a calendar with a start and end time.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. The word time occurs twenty-nine times in this chapter.
During this pandemic, so many hearts are breaking with grief. God promises comfort and blessing to those who mourn. Matthew 5:4 says: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
The beauty of a season is knowing that we can grieve and have hope that there is a time to cry and a time to laugh, a time to grieve and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4). And that God who created time can use everything we experience and make it “beautiful in its time” (verse 11).
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put
off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.
Give those who are grieving the necessary time to grieve. Come alongside them and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15). Pray that they will grieve with hope.
The Bible says we don’t “grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope”; but we will still grieve (1 Thessalonians 4:13). God knows that the difference is not “if” we grieve, but “how” we grieve.
Dear Jesus: Let our grief draw us closer to you. Help us to know that you love us and that we are not alone in our grief. The book of Isaiah describes you as “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. Help us to grieve with hope knowing that in its time, you will make our grief beautiful and give us beauty for ashes. In Jesus Name.