Faith Matters - Current Posts

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Okay to Cry

How do you think you would hold up if your spouse or child were to die, or if you were permanently disabled in an accident? What if you were to lose everything in a catastrophe or be diagnosed with a terminal disease? These are anxiety-raising questions for anyone. But let me raise the stakes a little higher. How can you act like a Christian when these things happen?
I find it very comforting to know that Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. His example shows me that it’s okay to cry when we’re overwhelmed with loss. We don’t need to hide our sadness. We don’t need to hide our anger at the loss of loved ones. As Christians we don’t need to cover up our hurt and pretend to have Christian happiness. It’s okay to grieve.
Remember that faith is for the best of times and the worst of times. Even if it is difficult to do in the middle of your grief, tell God that you believe in him and that you trust Jesus for eternal life. Don’t let your grief distance you from Jesus at the time when you need him the most. At the heart of Christianity is hope. Hope is the expectation of a better tomorrow. When we go through the difficulties, tragedies and disappointments of life, we can trust God to get us through to a better future. As Christians, even when we are looking death in the eye, we know that we will someday rise again from the dead – just like Jesus. And that’s hope!

Related Scripture: Romans 5:2-4

© 2007 Leith Anderson

Monday, July 9, 2007

A Father's Grief

The ancient land of Israel was torn by civil war and King David was forced to flee Jerusalem with a small army of loyal friends. Worse yet, the rebellion was led by the king’s own son, Absalom. Absalom had already murdered his brother and was now trying to kill his father to gain the throne.
Prospects for victory that day were slim and David’s generals insisted that he stay behind lest he be killed. As David reluctantly saw them off, he said, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” Then the anxious father awaited news.
Later, two runners returned with the news. David’s army was victorious, but twenty thousand lives were lost in the battle and Absalom was one of them. The Bible says, “The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept.” In his grief David wailed, “O my son Absalom!… If only I had died instead of you – O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Absalom was a traitor and a murderer, but he was also David’s son and David loved his son. Armies and thrones and politics were forgotten as the king grieved the death of his son.
Grief is like that. It isn’t rational, it’s emotional and it shakes us to our core. David was devastated by the loss of his son, but he turned to God for solace – just as we can in our grief. Listen to David’s words:
“In my distress I called…out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; … He reached down from on high and took hold of me; … the Lord was my support.”

Related Scripture: Psalm 18:6,16,18

© 2007 Leith Anderson