One of the great temptations in the grief journey is to veer off on the path of thinking: “No one knows what I’m going through.” This is a lie of the Evil one to get us to begin focusing on ourselves and take our eyes off the One who is able to carry us through the hard days of loss.
As time has been steadily passing since the loss of my husband, the Lord has shown me the reality of this lie. Within the past year, the following has happened in my own life:
- I lost my father
- My boys lost their father, my sister-in-law lost her mother, my niece and nephews lost their mother
- My cousins lost their mother, my best friend lost her mother
- I lost my aunt by marriage
- My boys lost their aunt by marriage
- I lost my husband
- My brother lost his wife, my dear friend lost her husband
This does not even count my friends who lost their son, our church family who lost a dear brother, those affected by loss in war, famine, crimes, and illness around this world.
Does anyone understand? How can I even ask such a question, knowing that others have faced devastating loss in even worse circumstances than myself. Does that lessen my grief? Not really, but it doesn’t add a self-made, unhealthy grief on top of the natural loss.
Who truly understands? Hebrews (chapter 4) tells me the answer:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
What is the weakness he empathizes with? The doubt that those of us in Christ will not enter His rest. Grief, along with the evil in this world, can be used by Satan to lead us to harden our hearts. Though I have faced much grief in this past year and three months, I do not want to be counted among the doubters of God’s promise and grace. For this reason, I am confident that,
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example [that of the unbelieving Israelites] of disobedience.
God’s Word is truly “alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” As I rest in the truth of His Word, I can stand strong against the attacks of Satan, even in my grief.
Do you wonder if anyone understands your grief, your struggles? Find rest in the One who certainly does.
Grace and Peace