Friday, July 27th
What a difficult balance we were charged with this week! Special thanks to our guest writers: Amanda Stephens, Jenny Eaton Cozby, and Andrea Breland. I have no doubt that their stories blessed your life in some way. But we all have stories - right!?! This life is hard, and challenges press in on every side. We have been encouraged to lean in to the brokenness those challenges create so that we can experience the grace and mercy of Christ ready to strengthen us with His power. However, scripture also encourages us to fix our eyes on the day when there will be no more suffering. I hope you have taken the time to journal your thoughts from our week. I wonder how many of you felt the need for a big cry (maybe a big ugly cry) with Jesus? How many of you just let it out and went for it? If I am being honest…I did. As we end our week, I pray the great Comforter will meet each of us in our grief. And, even better, that He comforts us in a way that prepares us to shine His light even from our darkest places.
Today, we will consider the questions at the end of the chapter. Take time to read back over scripture from the week and notes from the chapter while answering these questions for self-discovery.
1. So many of us stuff our emotions, bottle up our tears. Are there circumstances in your life that you haven’t fully grieved? Consider the loss of loved ones or the death of expectations.
2. Consider finding a quiet place where others will not worry about you if you give in to grief. Confess to God your desire to grieve. Ask Him to teach you how to give in to grief. Spend time feeling the emotions of your grief.
3. Ask God to comfort you, even in your mourning.
4. If your grief is too weighty, even in the presence of God, consider seeking out a professional therapist or counselor. Sometimes God uses others to bring His people into His comfort and rest.
Dear Lord, I thank you for revealing Yourself to us this week as we all went to the darkest most tormented parts of our souls. Thank You for being there to remind us that even when our today doesn't look like we pictured in our yesterdays, that You are there. Thank You for loving us so intimately that You comfort us, You sustain us, and You lift us up when we can no longer stand. Lord we confess that sometimes it is easier just to bury the pain and the forget about our broken heart. But when we do this, we miss out on moments with You - moments for You to show up and show out in our lives. It's in the lowest of our lows that we look up to see Your glory and grace. Until the day that we have no more heartache, no more loss, no more pain, and no more grief...we will praise You. And when this day comes, we will be with You experiencing the highest of highs, eternity with You. All glory to God! Thank you, Jesus! Amen.