Text: — Nehemiah 1:4 — 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. [NIV84]
The Big Idea: So let us be gracious one to another and allow “some days” to mourn.
When something sad happens, do you give yourself time to grieve? Depending on the sense of loss, the grief may be deep or shallow: The greater the loss the greater the sense of grief. Our culture doesn’t seem to afford us a time to grieve. We need to get right back to work…. So we stuff our feelings of loss and move on, but the weight of the loss doesn’t dissipate. In fact, it seems to get heavier with the passage of time.
However, if we do what Nehemiah did, who gave himself time to grieve, it may lessen the weight of the grief, and even give us perspective. Losing a loved one, especially a child, is a grief that seems to never leave us, but in time we can gain perspective and see how the Lord is going to use this tragedy for His glory….
Lifestyle worshipers, we dare not minimize the loss—ours or someone else’s, but likewise, we dare not minimize the time it takes to grieve over it. So let us be gracious one to another and allow “some days” to mourn (v. 4 above). Oh, and be gracious to yourself, eh? Your thoughts.
Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
Jesus wept. — John 11:35 (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. — 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NIV)
and [Herod] had John beheaded in the prison. … John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place …. — Matthew 14:10, 12-13a (NIV)
Heavenly Father, as I give myself time to grieve, open my eyes to the larger perspective. Though I may never fully understand what glory you are getting out of this, I trust that You are Good all the time no matter what. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.