Allowed to Grieve

chris standing outside

Last week, I was preparing for one of my video sessions, and I found myself in 2 Kings 4. This is the story of the woman that Elisha prayed for. He prayed she would have a son as a way of blessing her for all she had done to help him. The son grew up, then one day he was in the field and grabbed his head and fell to the ground, then died later that day. Today, we would assume something like an aneurysm. 

The grief-stricken mother hurridly began journeying to see Elisha. She Gehazi, Elisha's servant, that all was well, even though her heart had to have been shattered into a million pieces. Once she reached the man of God, she crumbled to the ground before him and lay at his feet. Gehazi tried to push her away. But Elisha recognized greif. He saw that her heart was broken, even though she had no words. Before she could even finish telling him what had happened, he took action and started Gehazi on the journey to the dead boy, on his behalf. Ultimately, the boy was raised from the dead! Of course, that's the good stuff, but it's not what stuck in my head.

Elisha told Gehazi to leave her alone because he could tell that something was troubling her greatly. (NLT) What got me was that he allowed her to greive. Gehazi wanted her to stop. Not that he's a bad guy yet (but will be in the next chapter!), but there are many people, platforms, and places where grief is not allowed. I think on some level, all caregivers deal with grief, and sadly, our religious culture doesn't know what to do with it. 

While we all deal with grief in different ways, it is essential that it is dealt with. If that means a good cry for you - do it guilt-free! Maybe you're more the type who can work your grief out with a punching bag, or going on a long run, or talking to a counselor or someone you trust. Journaling is often useful for managing feelings of grief. It is not condemned in scriptures, and just because you're grieving doesn't show a lack of faith or trust. It's a normal human response. It is important to not live in grief, but it does need to be allowed and processed. 

I think we see David processing greif many times throughout the Psalms, such as when he lost his son, Absalom. Psalms 3 was written while he was running from his own son, and Psalm 9 was written after his son died. Those are well worth the read. I like verse 12 which says For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore those who cry to Him for help. (NLT) I love that God doesn't ignore our deepest cries for help - those cries that come up out of our souls, from a broken heart. He hears them and accepts them.

Today, I will take some time to pour out my grief before Him. I'll open up my heart and let the pain leak out into His heart. I will purposefully let Him comfort me and hold my heart in His hands. I'll trust Him completely with today, will you join me?

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