After the loss of my first mother in law, Shawna, and after my board member and friend, Andrea from Scarred Beautiful, lost her mother in law within 2 months of each other, we wanted to bring hope to those grieving in the holidays. First things first, if you don’t have a relationship with Christ, it is crucial to welcome Him into your grieving process for the hope that comes. The world offers and speaks about the 5 stages of grief as: denial, isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I believe God wants to encourage our readers about God’s truth. And that truth is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.”
First, let’s stop calling it grief, let’s call it biblical mourning.
We learn from the book of Lamentations which also goes through stages of grief. (ya know, the world took that truth from the Bible) that mourning ends in restoration.
So, we need to remember that mourning is not a life sentence, it’s a season, meant to bring us back to the heart of the Father. And that’s the hope the 5 stages of grief can’t give, but biblical mourning and lamentations can.
We have to surrender to the pain and different emotions while still proclaiming God is good. We have hope and can stand on God’s promises even while we are hurting.
Jesus came to heal.
In Matthew 5:37-43 when Jesus went to heal the young girl that had died, the crowd mocked him, they were in a room full of “professional mourners” and he cast them out. Why? Because they had programmed grief. They went through the motions. In Old testament times, the mourners were like the worshipers in the temple, skillful and intentional in their gifting’s to the church. But He cast them out since they were false, and not the intention like Romans 12:15 which encourages us to mourn with those who mourn. I believe He not only wanted to heal that young girl that day, but restore biblical mourning and encourage us to not go through false motions.
God mourns alongside us, He grieves.
We need to come alongside others as they are mourning and rely on the Holy Spirit. He is full of compassion in our season of mourning… but He is also encouraging us to wait on Him, and see how He can heal and how He will be glorified.
God wants to give you a Christmas Gift exchange this season found in Isaiah 61:1-3
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.”
The hope that we can find about mourning in the holidays
is that it is a season.. And it’s a season that can end in healing. Let Him give it to you.