For Those Who Mourn
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."1
A Daily Encounter reader asks: "I have a friend who grieves her husband's death. He was a Pastor. How can I comfort her?"
One of the best things we can do for grieving friends is to be there for them—to give them our presence. That is, to lend them a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on as well as to pray for them. Better still is to weep with those who weep.
This is needed at holiday times, especially so as we come into the Christmas season. Such times can be bitterly lonely for the grieving.
What our grieving friends don't need is someone to give them advice, preach at them, or tell them they shouldn't feel the way they feel. When we lose a loved one, we grieve deeply. The pain can be insufferable. When Jesus' friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept. We need to do the same when we lose a loved one—and grieve/weep with our friends when they suffer loss. Rare is the friend who knows how to weep with those who weep.
Realize, too, that grieving is a process that takes time. Broken bones heal in six weeks. Broken hearts don't. They take so much longer to heal, so always be patient and understanding with grieving friends.
However, if a friend's grieving continues, say, for more than a year and it is obvious that they are not recovering, kindly suggest that they might consider joining a grief recovery group and/or seeing a skilled counselor to help them.
For further help, read the article, "Grief and Loss Recovery" at: http://tinyurl.com/7l5xd
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for the gift of tears that helps relieve our pain when we lose a loved one. Grant that all my grieving friends will know Your presence and blessing in a very special way at this time of loss and pain. And please help me to be a supporting friend and comfort to them. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Matthew 5:4 (NIV).