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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Grieving Our Losses

"Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted."1

When Jesus' friend, Lazarus, died, Jesus wept. When we experience loss and are sad, we need to do the same. When we bury and hide our grief, we hurt ourselves and distort reality. As Cecil Osborne wisely said, "Every unshed tear is a prism through which all of life's hurts are distorted."

In his book, Daily Affirmations for Forgiving and Moving On, Tim Dayton wrote, "If my unconscious [mind] carries a silent wound, I will always be black and blue inside. I will not be able to approach situations with open eyes for fear they will trigger that unfelt pain. The grief that I carry hidden in silence has great power over my life and my relationships.... Until I understand my grief and allow myself to know it, I will not be free of its grip."

Loss is a part of life. Grieving these is a process, not an event. There is no quick fix. Whatever emotions are involved—which can include confusion, anxiety and even anger—need to be felt, experienced and expressed in healthy ways, as well as the deep sorrow which needs to be wept or even sobbed out. Tears are God's gift to help drain the pain of deep grief and sorrow.

Furthermore, until I know how to weep with all my heart, I will never know how to love with all my heart either.

Jesus gives us a model to follow. And His words are true: "Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be connected to and honest with all my emotions and learn how to express them in healthy, constructive ways. And help me to learn to grieve and mourn my losses and not be afraid to cry when I am truly sad. Thank You for the gift of tears as well as the gift of laughter. Help me to realize that both are equally important and healthy. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Jesus (Matthew 5:4).


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