Monday morning Rick Warren shared with pastors in Houston how to help people in the aftermath of Harvey. He talked about grief. Promise me you will take a minute and read these truths.
Life is full of loss. Don’t be surprised when you encounter it.
There is no life without loss, no loss without grief, no grief without pain.
You don’t get over loss but you will get through it.
There is no expiration date on grief. Get comfortable with it. It will show up for years.
We want to resume life after loss without refection. You must reflect. It’s uncomfortable but you take time to do it.
Grief is God’s gift of transition. It’s how God designed us to handle loss. If you don’t grieve you will get stuck where you are and it will take you far longer to recover.
Not grieving is like taking a can of coke. Shaking it up and putting it in the freezer. What happens?
When you experience loss
Don’t repress it – push it down.
Don’t suppress it – minimize it like it’s no big deal
Express it – tell a trustworthy friend
Confess it – tell God. Be honest. 1/3 of the Psalms are complaints and David was a man after God’s own heart.
If you don’t let it out, you’re going to take it out on someone else or yourself.
Strong men are not afraid to express emotions. Tears are not a sign of weakness. Tears are a sign of compassion.
All emotions are temporary. They last about 5 minutes. Never make a permanent decision in a a temporary mood.
Feelings are meant to be felt. Feel them. God is emotional and you are made in his image. God gets angry and jealous.
Don’t judge your feelings, just feel them. They will pass.
Stop trying to cheer people up. Feel with them.
All grief is healed in community which is the opposite of human nature. We want to run and isolate. Don’t. If a friend is going at loss alone, go get them. Leave the 99 and get the 1.
It’s okay to ask why something happened, but don’t expect an answer. Jesus asked why on the cross. He didn’t get an answer. Even if you knew why, it wouldn’t make it better.
If Rick died and I knew why, it wouldn’t make it any better.
Remember, life is all about relationships and people!
Jesus was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. Isaiah 53:3