The phrase, “Good Grief”, reminds me of the comic strip Charlie Brown. It also reminds me that all of us experience grief. With understanding and kindness, we can learn to grieve in a way that is good for us. It can be good grief.
We are in the Lenten season of the church year. Lent is a time to focus on various time-tested disciplines of the Christian faith. Some of these disciplines are silence, fasting, frugality, study, worship, celebration, prayer, fellowship, confession, and service. These learned habits can help us to grieve as we deal with losses.
Consider the life of Job in the Old Testament. He practiced Godly habits that guided him in his time of major losses.
Study: In Job 1:21 he quotes a truth he learned many years ago. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there.”
Worship: Job worships God in the same verse. “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD”. Fellowship: Job’s friends hear of the losses in his life and come to fellowship with him. The friends came to “sympathize and comfort him.”
Silence: Job’s friends “sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word.” Job 2:13. We can learn a lot when we take time to listen. They saw that Job’s “pain was very great”.
Confession: In most of the book, Job and his friends talk with one another trying to make sense of Job’s grief. Confession teaches us the value of talking about our faith with God and others.
Celebration: Job’s grief guides him to affirm a truth that he wants to share with everyone. In Job 19:23-25 he proclaims: “Oh that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!” What are the words he is excited about? “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”
We all will face many griefs in our journey here on earth. Our faith offers us the skills to experience good grief. This Lenten season take some time to practice some of the classic disciplines of the Christian faith. These practices are very handy as we deal with the losses associated with aging.