(Photo by Selma Komisky)
By April Bautista Garcia
I understand the pain of grief. I’ve felt its deep pangs and emptiness. I’ve seen it overwhelm me, and I’ve asked, “Where is God in the midst of this pain?”
This December will mark the five-year anniversary of my dad’s passing. Although time has passed, there are moments that grief still overwhelms me. Grief is a deep emotion that many of us have experienced in some way. It results from the loss of someone or something meaningful in our life. It tends to be intertwined with the feelings of depression, guilt, anger, confusion and loneliness. It presents itself in variety of ways, throughout many different cultures and displayed in many different ways.
But, regardless of how our grief is displayed or felt, there is one commonly shared truth that impacts us all: Loss and grief are impossible for us to completely grasp as human beings. Having someone precious or well-respected taken from our lives marks us in an unexpected way. We cannot explain the pain; it doesn’t feel right – this not how it was meant to be.
Grief is a complicated and somewhat incomprehensible emotion because we were never meant to feel the pain and sting of death. We were not originally created to deal with the concept of death because we were never meant to be separated from each other in this way; this was not God’s original plan.
Our bodies and minds were not originally created to sustain the pain of loss. We were meant to have life and a mindset intended for eternity. Death is a consequence of sin, and its sting can leave us vulnerable, lonely, and hurting.
However, in the midst of the loss and pain, God is there. Our loss is not a surprise to Him. Our grief is not foreign to him. In fact, Jesus was no stranger to grief. Isaiah 53:3 tells us that Jesus is known as “The Man of Sorrows” and that “He was acquainted with grief.” He walked this life seeing and feeling the pains of this world. As he saw the sick and the broken, he empathized with them. He felt their hurts – including loss. At the tomb of His friend Lazarus, Jesus groaned and wept when feeling and seeing the pain of loss of a person he loved (John 11:33-35).
Jesus understands our pain, and he is there in the midst of the brokenness. He saw the brokenness that sin brought to our lives, and he chose to die on the cross to remedy the problem. Through the death of Christ, we can have victory over our loss and hope in the midst of our grief. Through Him, we are able to say, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55, NIV). For one day, we will see our loved one again. We will hold them, touch them, and laugh with them once more.
God is waiting to comfort you as walk you through these turbulent times – whether that is now or in the future. Jesus tells us that we can have assurance and hope because He promised “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25, NKJV).
I encourage you, if you are facing grief and pain, don’t lose hope. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, knows your pain. He overcame death to reunite you with your loved one. He wants to bring comfort to you. Seek Him, and He will heal your grieving, broken heart.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
-Matt. 5:4 (NIV)