God of Your Grief
There are countless causes for grief.
Silent grief occurs when part of your personal identity is taken away. This may be a result of chronic health issues, or personal circumstances altering your lifestyle, or an empty womb—but whatever caused it, a loss has occurred in your life that alters your sense of who you are. This brings pain, and with it, deep grief.
Relational grief occurs when you lose someone you love. Death robs you of a family member or close friend. A loved one moves away. A dearly loved companion gets married and suddenly doesn't have time for your relationship anymore. A family member sinks into addiction and you lose the person they once were. All these bring a deep ache in the soul, and with it, relentless grief.
Communal grief occurs when the brokenness of humanity slips through the cracks of your isolation and breaks upon your conscience, waking you from a privileged slumber. The grief of others within your church community, the senseless slaughter of the unborn, the brutal killings of religious minorities, the exploitation of the powerless, or the gunning down of racial minorities on our streets. If we open our eyes to it, if we dare pause long enough to give it credibility, then the inevitable pang of grief will wash over your soul with anger.
No matter the source of your grief—be it silent, relational, or communal—you must know today that God is not deaf to your pain. You soul's ache is not foreign to him. Your sleepless thrashings in the dark of night are his to see. The tears that streak your face are more precious to him than you realise.
Psalm 56:8 (ESV)
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
The Lord of hosts is the God of your grief.
And lest you think that his knowledge of your grief is distant and cold, an academic understanding that is ruthless and calculating, know this also.
Isaiah 53:3-4 (ESV)
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
It is not wise to bury your grief, pretending it doesn't eat at your soul like it does. It is not wise, nor is it a 'good Christian thing to do', to pretend as though the pains and sorrows of this world don't leave scars that may never fade this side of glory. It is not wise to consider that God does not care for your grief.
The one who is acquainted with sorrow, deeper than the human heart is designed to bear, scoops up your tears and tenderly holds them in trust until the day comes when, face to face, he will look into your eyes and say, "Child, cry no more. All pain is gone. All injustice dealt with. The Lamb who was slain has overcome."
But until that day, remember that the ledger of your suffering is not wasted.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.