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Have Some Mercy…You Might Be In The Same Situation Someday

“Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?”

Job 13:9

Job brings perspective to the subject of adversity so well, “Zophar, let me ask you a question. What would happen if God searched you out? You’ve set a big standard for me. But could you hold to that same standard? If you were to go through what I’m going through, how would you react?” I say to all reading these words, myself included, I believe in justice, but we better have some mercy for people because each one of us, without fail, will be in the same place someday. Every one of us will go through a loss so deeply that it will be beyond our ability as a human to shoulder. That’s the way life is. I cannot stop my troubles. I wish I could.

Job reminds Zophar that the standard he was holding him to, was also for Zophar personally as well. Job makes a very good point. We must be careful to make sure that we have mercy on others that are going through tough times. Life and loss are not as cut and dried as you might think.

I have accepted the high standards of the Bible for my life. While that is a good (great) thing, I know that at the same time, you can only do what you can do. We are all human, and God understands our limitations. Jesus while on earth got hungry, tired, sad, angry and was very human – but not sinful. Many of our issues are related to sin, but many are just because we are human. David had a good grasp of this truth. Speaking of Israel’s shortcomings God stated, “For he remembered that they were but flesh…” (Psalm 78:39).

Not only do we need to give others a break, we need to go easy on ourselves. For example: before and after the funeral people are going to want to check in, call, drop by, and stop you on the street. Acknowledge that these things may be draining for you. Also, don’t be surprised if their attempts at comfort, even from the Bible, don’t especially help.

It’s almost impossible to get a sanctified view of loss in the beginning stages of grief. Expect that you may feel more distracted or less productive than before your loss. Be understanding with coworkers, friends and even family. Take comfort in the fact that they mean well and are good-willed despite their shortcomings. You may find them feeling awkward around you. Let them know the best thing they can do is to just love you, be normal and pray for you.

Realize that it will never be okay that your loved one died. Death is caused because of Adam and Eve’s sin (and ours). It will be a great day when God eradicates death once and for all! “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death…” (Revelation 21:4) Accepting this truth is one of the most freeing things you can do. Realizing that that you’ll not get over this but carry it with you for the rest of your life is liberating. There is no magical answer to loss. It stinks. But someday…Hallelujah!…death will be abolished. Allow yourself to simply sit still with that reality.

I have heard people talk about having “closure.” Honestly…I’ve never discovered how to do that. God says “love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13), so how can the unfailing emotion you had for someone cease. No, I really think the grief stays – it just changes form. There’s no end point to when you will be back to normal. You are forever different…but hopefully growing and accepting – even embracing – the fact that you will never be the same and that there is no end point to grieving. This will take a whole lot of pressure off of you.

You shouldn’t feel pressured to dive head-first into life (or not to dive in) and to get back on track. Move ahead and pull back as you need to. Move as slow or as fast as works for you.

I know some people wondered how I could pursue a relationship after Lynette’s death. All I can say is everybody is different. There is no “holy” time frame about when you should re-enter life and relationships. I read nothing in the Bible that tells how long one should wait to date after the death of your mate. All I know is that I longed for the sweet companionship again that had characterized our marriage.

There must be NO expectations put on people (or yourself) for that matter. Go easy on yourself. Do remember you are going through a physically and emotionally stressful time though. If you want the holidays to be the same as they always were, you are in for disappointment and frustration. No matter what you do, you will not feel as you once did. It will take time for you to adjust – maybe years, even decades, but I can guarantee that you WILL laugh again! God is a restorer, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…” (Joel 2:25).

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