This grief thing has been tumbling around in my head the last few days. Well, that’s not exactly true. It was more like a deep well of grief inside me was struck, and the grief started gushing up like some kind of over active geyser. I cried for hours, then pulled it together enough to go to my neighbor’s house for the 4th of July.
I faked it pretty well until Ryan showed up. I can’t fake anything around him. Like when we were dating and I was trying to play hard to get and in utter frustration I blurted out,”Oh! It doesn’t matter. I know I’m going to marry you anyway!” So much for being demure. So that’s how I am with him. Wide open! Sometimes it annoys me.
Grief annoys me, too. It doesn’t ask for a proper time to present itself. It just shows up and takes over. It’s almost impossible to ignore or put aside until later, but in our culture we’re expected to somehow tame it. Sometimes I wish we had a wailing wall in every church, so that we could just get it out. Instead, in most churches, they’d take you out if you were really grieving. I was overcome with grief once, so I went to church. I just wanted God, so when the altar call was given, I was the first one there. I must have been some kind of sight because the pastor started making excuses for me to the congregation.
It’s not that way in the African American culture. They know how to grieve and let grieve. They don’t try to explain it away or comfort the person until they are quiet. The word of God says to weep with those who weep. Even Job’s friends had it right until they started trying to explain his problems with their own understanding.
- Job 2:13 (Whole Chapter)
So they sat down with [Job] on the ground for seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief and pain were very great.
They didn’t speak a word, but they didn’t leave him either. They entered into his suffering with him. That’s the essence of intercession. Intercession is the flip side of grief. That’s what Jesus did for us.
We have to enter into the grief, embrace the cross and allow it to do its work. Once we’ve allowed it to happen, those deep places filled with grief empty out and make room for wells of intercession. Sometimes those wells will be filled with the griefs of others, and sometimes with the grief the Holy Spirit and as they are emptied out to the Lord in intercession, the wells fill up with Living Water for your own life and for others.
So, although I don’t welcome grief, I’ve learned to embrace it. If you are grieving right now, don’t try to stop it. Weep as long and as loudly as you need. Even better, find someone who will enter into it with you, and know for certain that Jesus has entered into your grief and He will turn your sorrow into gladness and your mourning into praise. It really will happen. The blood of Jesus is your guarantee.