Timeout to Grieve

Well of Grief by David Whyte

Grief.  I know this word, this place, this pit well.
Loss
Pain
Sorrow
Depression
Anger
Bitterness
Struggle
Confusion

 

An attempt to hang on to what one holds dear.
A hole so deep there is little if any light.
A time out you do not know if you will survive or if you even want to.  A time death looks like a friend.

Some say if you are a Christian you should never experience this time out because you know God is in control and knows best.  This is HOGWASH!

From an early age I have wrestled this out with our heavenly Father.  I have come to the conclusion the Lord did not “hardwire” me for all this because it was NEVER suppose to be this way.  The way it was suppose to be is the way it was in the Garden when we walked with God in the beauty of the creation and life was designed to live eternally in peace and fellowship.  Man’s free will destroyed all this and we have struggled ever since.  Listen to the Psalmist as he  cries out:

1 O God, do not remain silent;
do not turn a deaf ear,
do not stand aloof, O God.
2 See how your enemies growl,
how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.   (Psalm 83:1-3)

Do you see how the Psalmist recognized who the real enemy is?  Do you see we are not alone in our struggle to deal with this world and its pain and suffering?

Every time we are plunged into the pit of loss we are forced to make one of two choices:  wallow in the mud of the pit or look up and reach for the HAND of the ONE who alone can pull me up out of the depths of despair.  The crawl out can be hard and long and I have often wallowed before I looked up   .  But in the words of Ann Voskamp in her new book The Broken Way, “Maybe the love gets in easier where the heart’s broke open?” and “Maybe the deepest wounds birth deepest wisdom.”  (#TheBrokenWay)

I recently had new revelation come from Ephesians 6:12, ‘ For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’   Our struggle in this life is not with people!  It is who the struggle comes at us through but it is not with them!!!  I must look past the situation and see into the “high places” at exactly who our struggle is with–THE ENEMY!!!  (See Freda’s post on Oct 6, 2016, we really did not copy each other!)

THE ENEMY is a thief.  Is a murderer.  Is a liar.  Is a roaring lion.  Is a deceiver.  Is an adversary.  “He uses God’s holy objects (vessels, containers of the Holy Spirit) for unholy purposes.” (Beth Moore, The Daniel Study)   He uses Christians to harm Christians on the stage of a watching world.  This is why we look like the only army that shoots its own wounded!  #@BethmooreLPM

This quote in The Broken Way, slapped me cross-eyed: “….a woman who’s been more interested in self-preservation than anyone else’s situation,,,,,,” because the eyes of my understanding of a grievous situation in my life suddenly made sense in light of Ephesians 6:12!  We have all been in this place if we are honest!  We are all just trying to survive what life has thrown at us and we get tunnel vision. #thebrokenway

I have found the Psalms give voice to our “unspoken broken” as we pour out our lament before the Lord.  In Bilman and Miligore’s Rachel’s Cry, they write, “ Lament is that unsettling biblical tradition of prayer that includes expressions of complaint, anger, grief, despair, and protest to God.”  This differs from complaining (an abomination) because complaints are faithless grumbling and “declares that God is not sufficiently good, faithful, loving, wise, powerful, or competent.” (from Jon Bloom, How to Complain without Grumbling).

At the moment, I am sitting on the edge of the grief well.  It has taken a long time to reach this point of rest.  The next phone call may plunge me back into the pit.  The Word reminds us “in this world you will have trouble!”  We as believers are not immune from the attacks of the enemy.  But the Word also makes it clear in Colossians 1:13, “For He (God the Father) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,” and in I John 3:8b, The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.  Can I come to take the dare and believe as Ann Voskamp, “ to let all my brokenness—be made into abundance.  Break and give away.  The broken way?”  To discover that,  “Somehow I wonder if it’s in shattered places, with broken  people, we are most near the broken heart of Christ.”

From past experience with this kind of timeout, the answer is a resounding YES!
Psalm 142:3-5 puts it this way:
When my spirit grows faint within me,
   it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
   people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
   no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
   no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, Lord;
   I say, “You are my refuge,
   my portion in the land of the living.”

Grief (John 16:33) can come at us from many directions:  illness, anger, jealousy, injury, death, gossip, slander, libel, divorce, differences of opinion that divide us, and the list is endless.  May we remember our struggle is not with God’s creation (man) but with an enemy that has been defeated.  May we allow the Father to take our time out and birth something beautiful and new and full and glorious.  (John 12:24).  Something “abundant!”  #thebrokenway

Be Still My Soul  by Kari Jobe

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Available now

 

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About Yvonne Jones

I am at heart, a LIFEguard: "big" sister, mama, grandmother, aunt, friend, swimming coach, lifeguard trainer, and registered nurse. I am in the business of alleviating fear through education and lots of hand holding. As a swimming instructor, I have taught people of all ages to overcome fear of the water and I marvel as fear gives way to fearlessness, as panic turns to pure joy, as tears dissolve into giggles of glee, and pennies retrieved from the bottom of the abyss become trophies. As a nurse, I have been privileged to walk up to Heaven's gate as patients and family are welcomed home, witnessed the miracle of birth, helped mend broken hearts, and cared for the elderly as they wait. Scriptures number one admonition is "fear not." Question is HOW??? The Word becomes our swimming instructor and can help us learn to "tread water til Jesus comes." Something my students often thought I was going to make them do! So welcome to my pool! Jump in the cool water. Let it refresh your soul and feel the unseen hands of the Master Lifeguard lift you up and out of the deep water. Who knows, you just might even walk on water!

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