Enhancing On-going Ministry Through Equipping, Encouraging, and Interceding

Applying Wisdom to Grief

Since grief is such a big subject, there isn’t a single definition that covers it. A commonly used definition is “Grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss or change of any kind.” Let me illustrate. Last week I attended a conference that involved several hundred cross-cultural missionaries, some of whom were former Seminary students of mine. I received two invitations to teach a short-term class on prayer (my favorite subject to teach) in two different countries, far removed from my Texas home. I want to accept the invitations so bad I can hardly stand the possibility of having to decline. But my doctors don’t think too highly of the possibility. Following the X-ray, MRI, Myelogram and CT Scan of my neck, I was told by my surgeon, that I have a serious bulging disk in my neck and the day I feel numbness in my arms or tingling in my fingers, or feel dizzy, or fall, he will meet me at the hospital for emergency surgery. Neither of these places where I have been invited, offer a very good alternative to the emergency surgical facilities in my home town. Across the years, I have made many trips to far-away places, when my physical condition was somewhat questionable. But I’ve never been this old before. One of my doctors challenged me to “Think about age, before making plans!” So, I’m having an “emotional reaction to loss or change.” You don’t have to be my age to suffer grief – from a variety of causes, most of which are far worse than mine. So, if you are grieving today due to “emotional reaction to loss or change” do what I did. Remembering Psalm 119:28 (NASB) where the Psalmist cried out, “My soul weeps because of grief; Strengthen me according to Your word.” I went to the Word where I found two verses in Ecclesiastes: “In much wisdom there is much grief and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain” (Ecclesiastes 1:18 NASB) and “Remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting” (Ecclesiastes 11:10, NASB). Employ much positive wisdom today and move on with life.

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