Dwell On It: Dealing with Grief

Question: Are there any best practices when it comes to dealing with or getting through grief? How do we find peace when life is tough or when we lose a loved one?

Answer: Dealing with grief and the process of grieving has been studied in psychology for many years. There is enough evidence to say that there are stages of grief that many people go through, just not at the same time or in the same order. These stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
The shortest verse in scripture is John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” This shows us that Jesus had real feelings and emotions. He wept because one of his very close friends, Lazarus, died, and even though Jesus was about to perform a miracle and bring Lazarus back to life, he felt what Lazarus’ sisters felt–grief.

So, what do we learn from Jesus in this short verse and story from His life? Jesus did not isolate himself and he did not allow Lazarus’ family to be alone. One of the best practices we can adopt for dealing with and getting through grief is to not isolate ourselves. Being around a community that authentically loves us, and will sit, weep, laugh, and just be with us is what gets us through and helps us heal. When we spend time with people who are pursuing Jesus, it is easier for us to keep our eyes on Jesus. After all, He knows what we are going through, He feels for us, and He is with us. Jesus wants to give us peace, and He wants to comfort us. If we are following Him, Jesus is right beside us through it all.

Then, the ball is in our court: it is up to us to acknowledge Him in and through the processing of our grief.
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