Thursday, March 18, 2010

Week 2 - Acquainted with Grief

I have written many times before on the struggle of dealing appropriately with those we love, whether friends or family, who have truly suffered, so I won't continue to spill, but I do think that it is should be a continual prayer for all of us to show love to those who are suffering. For those of us who are suffering, we need to offer grace to those who may not respond as we see appropriate. Both of these are a prayer for me because I need to offer more grace and I need to pray more about how I deal with those who are suffering, whether their suffering is like mine or if it is different.

"Perhaps the greatest comfort I find in seeing Jesus as a man of sorrows is the affirmation that tears do not reflect a lack of faith; indeed, they are a companion to authentic faith."
- Nancy Guthrie

I have to be honest and say that I have not really considered Jesus' sufferings on this earth. It may have been brought to may attention before, but I have not reflected on it. Chapter 53 of Isaiah makes Jesus so much more of a person to me because he understands this void in my heart where I miss my Magdalena.

Nancy asks us to read Isaiah 53 and decide which of Jesus' sufferings can we relate to. I was drawn to verse 11 first.

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see light and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

I knew that this didn't quite answer her question because this verse did not make me think of myself, but it made me think of Magdalena. I am so focused on my suffering of losing her that I forget how she suffered while she was here, and how being with Jesus now is such a great relief. Through her short life full of suffering, she pointed lives to Christ. There was no medical reason why she was on this earth for as long as she was except that God had a special purpose for her here.

I couldn't read verses 4 through 6 without singing the worship song that I have heard many times before, but visually seeing the words verse 5 was a reminder that can easily be forgotten amidst my pain.

...upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

Because of his pain and suffering we can have that peace that so many of us long for in the middle of our nightmares, tears, and daily struggles. Because of his suffering we are healed. I don't believe this means that we feel wonderful for each sunrise, but daily we feel peace in spite of our struggles and pain, and we know that God has something in store for us whether on this earth or in heaven.

2 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you've picked back up! When I read Isaiah 53 I thought back to a time years ago, before I was even married that I was going through a particularly crushing ordeal. Those closest to me wanted to just draw me out of my grief and see me happy. I can relate to those feelings now -- our society is not good with grief (I think you've said this before) and grief is a process that takes time, so often it leaves those in the process without someone to walk with them because those nearby get worn out and move on. "We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by" verse 3. That one resounded in me. Why do we not want to walk alongside those who are grieving? I've even done this myself. Is it that we're too self-absorbed, that it ruins our good time? I think it's more that to look upon serious grief is to see what we could possibly live through and to HAVE to acknowledge that our lives are truly in the hands of the Almighty -- the things we want to control the most are out of our control. And we are a "self-made" society that wants to think we're always in control. That's just my thought. But having a visual of backs turning to Jesus because of his "acquaintance with grief" was such a poignant reminder to me of that time in my life so much so that I felt a little bit sick remembering the level of grief I was struggling through, and such an encouragement to see where he has brought me -- not that I don't grieve sometimes still, but that through the grief he allows peace and even growth to take place, and often a more mature walk with him. Thanks for starting again!

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  2. Thank you for sharing, Katie! My prayer is that this is more than just a place where people read my words because we can learn so much from each other.

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