August 11 – Perseverance – While experiencing grief

Read Ecclesiastes 7:2

To persevere is to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.

Grief is such a weird thing, isn’t it? Most of us have experienced some type of grief of our own which makes the word itself feel heavy. Today I want to talk about grief, not our own, but grief that those around us are feeling.

Awkward topic, I know, just stick with me!

When someone we’re close to loses a loved one or is going through some big life event and is feeling grief, we often don’t want to say anything because we don’t want to “say the wrong thing” or “remind them of it”.  One thing that I have learned through my own personal grief was that I wanted so badly for someone to just talk to me about it. Here’s the thing : unfortunately, if someone is carrying the pain of grief around with them, you asking them about how they’re doing isn’t going to remind them of anything, because it’s something they are often thinking about. If they’ve lost someone they love, it’s probably the ONLY thing on their mind and you talking with them about it isn’t making them remember something they forgot.

When we walk past people in the hallways at church, past them at the store, or see them at an outing, we often have the same shallow conversation. I’m sure you know what I mean. That conversation usually goes like this:

“Hi, how’re you?”

“Oh, I’m good and you?”

“I’m good, thanks.”

Friends, I want to challenge you to persevere in the conversation, especially if you know that person is carrying grief around with them. Challenge their answer. I’m not saying to push them or to be mean, but I mean to lovingly respond to their “I’m good” with an “Are you really?” or “How are you actually?”

The Bible tells us in many spots to mourn with those who mourn and to rejoice with those who rejoice. Ecclesiastes 7:2 says:

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.”

Sometimes, when it comes to loving those around us, it takes getting a little uncomfortable and pressing on with those we love to mourn with them. Sometimes it’s just saying, “I am here with you. I can’t take away the pain, but I can walk with you through it.” Just being willing to sit with someone in their grief will help them to persevere and reach a place of healing.

We were not created to do it alone and we’re called to walk through life with one another.

Walking through life together also means walking through death together. It’s okay to not know what to say- just show up. Love them where they are and let God use you to help your people see HIM through their pain. That’s why we show up.

Who do you know that is grieving something? Someone you could call or text today and check in on? Send the text or make the call. I promise you, it will mean so much to them!

Michelle Perrino

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