A Season of Grief

I posed these three questions with the Scripture on Monday:

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*How do you understand this verse of Scripture?

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* Do you realize that God appoints season of weeping and mourning in our lives?
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* Does it comfort you to realize that weeping brings laughter and mourning a time to dance?
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* What are we to do in our season’s of grief?

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As I read and allow this Scripture speak to my grief, I hear God telling me grief is an appointed season of life. Just as the physical seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter are the natural progression of a year – so mourning and weeping are natural seasons of the human existence.

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For me this allows me to hold onto the hope that just as the bitter cold and desolation of winter is relieved by the warm sunshine and new growth of Spring… so it is with grief, there will come a day with our weeping will turn to laughter and our mourning to joyful dancing!

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We can read it. We can process it with our minds. But, will that truth every make its way to our heart. Like to Narnians under the rule of the white witch will be stuck in a perpetual state of grief that we never recover from?

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Again, as New Life Ministries assures us, “healing is a choice.” It requires soul searching, Scripture believing, hard, gut-wrenching work. The expectation for life and this journey to be easy is not the promise of Scripture – over and over again we see the righteous taking the harder, more narrow way and finding their reward may even elude them this side of heaven. But, does that make the promises of God less valid or true. Are the true promises of God that we will experience a “WOW” manifestation of His blessing and miracles in our lives – yes, that could be true… But, what of those quieter, more subtle appearances… The gentle whispers in the midst of our storms that quiet our hearts and sooth our souls.

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I think the truer realization is the moments when the storm calms around us while it rages outside of the protection of our relationship with God. Galatians 5:22-23 promises us Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control will be manifested all at the same time in our lives – no matter our circumstances when we surrender control and every circumstance of our lives to God.

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I’ve never know this to be more true than in that last year with Justin. Going to pick him up from the police on a cool October morning, having him arrested and hearing him beg me to get him out of jail, watching the slow stages of change and growth come over him in radical ways that summer – the uncertainty of the future mixed with the certainty of my faith… In all of those things I experience supernatural love, peace, patience, even kindness, even goodness, I found myself faithful to God’s calling in my life, I found gentleness and compassion even when my son was out of control and violent, I found the ability to control my thoughts and emotions and my responses even when the circumstances were out of control. And more than all of that I found the Joy of the Lord. The joy does not come in such difficulty because I choose joy – it comes from the things I choose to submit to God in exchange for His joy. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 comes from my ongoing uninterupted relationship with God.

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I choose not to let my life circumstances and traumas steal the Joy of the Lord from me. To steal His Spirit and His influence in my life. Since that time, I have had to allow the Lord to lead me through the valley of the shadow of death – but I also have to understand that this is a season of despair and pain, but that pain will bring what God promises in Psalm 126:5 (NIV) “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”

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We must choose to live on in the Joy of the Lord, surrendering what hurts to the Healing power of God and allowing Him to walk us through this season to a place of truth, light and new life beyond our loss.

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SALVE FOR OUR WOUNDED SOULS:

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Psalm 126
A song of ascents.

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1 When the LORD brought back

the captives to Zion,

we were like men who dreamed.

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2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,

our tongues with songs of joy.

Then it was said among the nations,

“The LORD has done great things for them.”

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3 The LORD has done great things for us,

and we are filled with joy.

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4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,

like streams in the Negev.

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5 Those who sow in tears

will reap with songs of joy.

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6 He who goes out weeping,

carrying seed to sow,

will return with songs of joy,

carrying sheaves with him.

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