Season of Sorrow
For some folks it can be a time of intense pain because of loss in their lives. Matthew 2:16-18. I realize this is a reference to events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ and I don’t want to diminish the LORD in any way. We will point out that when shepherds heard “glory to God in the highest” and were praising God for joy, and the wise men were rejoicing at the birth of Christ, there were also many families that suffered great loss during this time because of sin and evil in the world. Matthew records the fulfillment of the prophecy in Jeremiah 31:15. Which actually had its origin in Genesis 35:16-19 when Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin. That’s the history of the prophecy, and tonight we’ll deal with temporary, but real grief.
Expectations of grief
- Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
- Accepting grief as reality
- There is an appropriate time to weep and to mourn.
- Also know it is a season and it will pass.
- An entire book in the Bible called Lamentations.
- God in the flesh did not escape grief associated with the evil of this world. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Jesus wept
- Make preparations
- Since these feelings are seasonal you can make preparations for this time.
- How you want to spend the holidays or not spend the holidays. You may not be able to eliminate all surprises, but preparing how you want to spend your time will limit them.
- Plan to fill empty roles if your lost loved one used to do certain things or play certain roles, plan to address those roles.
- Set boundaries for family and friends and don’t feel guilty about it
- Proverbs 25:17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
- Other people will enjoy this time and that’s not wrong
- Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
- Consider the real reason for the holiday instead of comparing your loss to the joy other people are experiencing at this time. Before your loss, you also enjoyed this time. It’s OK for people to enjoy the season.
- If you choose to share your burden with others just know others will not carry your burden like you do. They will do their best to help and in doing so they will inevitably say things that hurt. Understand they are trying to help, but they haven’t been given the same burden you have.
- Grief is seasonal. Be careful you don’t drag out the season.
- Don’t multiply your sorrows by drowning them
- Don’t drink your sorrows away because you’ll find more sorrows down that road.
- Proverbs 23:29-30 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
- Be aware of isolation and depression
- Get out. If you can’t go see others, go and do something.
- Better yet, do something for the LORD and do something for others.
- Ecclesiastes 4:10-11 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
- Find someone to be a blessing to. Weep with those that weep. Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
- You’re not obligated to bring out painful memories
- If there are items that bring back memories that are too painful, it’s OK not to get those items out.
- If you know the LORD, better yet, if your loved one is with the LORD, you know they don’t care about their memory being honored.
- Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.