Pain and Grief

Adonai is near those with broken hearts;
he saves those whose spirit is crushed.

Psalm 34:18

Most of us, reading this short teaching today, have experienced pain and grief in our lives. Some of this has come about as a result of loss of loved ones in our lives. It is difficult to truly understand this loss, unless we have experienced it ourselves.

I lost both my parents, when they were fairly young. My mother died when she was 55 and my father at 72. I felt their loss profoundly. While being an adult myself, I was young enough to still be tied to them, emotionally if not physically.

My mother and I had a rather unique relationship. I was her only child for seven years; five years passed before my father returned from the war in Europe, in 1946 and seven years before my sister arrived. Thus, for at least the first five years of my life, my mother was the centre of my life. It was she I went to, when I had problems or, for me, serious questions of ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘where’. She was the one who held me, as I cried and it was she who smiled with me when I laughed.

I remember the day, quite vividly, when I received the phone call that she had been taken to the hospital. I expected to see her and say good bye to her; however, when I arrived, I was told she had already died and that it was impossible for me to see her. I sat on the hospital floor and bawled like a child again, filled with pain, rage and grief.

When I was informed of my father’s death, it was if I had been hit in the gut. My father was a hard man. He expected much from me and I often disappointed him. I expected much from him and he often disappointed me. So, at least we had that in common. Needless-to-say, I had a closer relationship with my mother, than with my father. My father, though, taught me most of my moral lessons, even if he didn’t always live by them himself. I responded to his death also with grief and a deep sense of loss.

We all grieve in our own unique ways. So, it is nearly impossible to step into another’s shoes and experience what they have. However, empathy allows us to walk with others going through similar pain and assist them along the way.

Much support is also found in Adonai’s word. For example, in Isaiah 61:1-3, we read, “The Spirit of Adonai Elohim is upon me, because Adonai has anointed me to announce good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted; to proclaim freedom to the captives, to let out into light those bound in the dark; to proclaim the year of the favor of Adonai and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, yes, provide for those in Tziyon who mourn, giving them garlands instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a cloak of praise instead of a heavy spirit, so that they will be called oaks of righteousness planted by Adonai, in which he takes pride.” As we know, Isaiah was the Messianic prophet, and his words, given by Adonai, allow us to connect directly to Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, and His love and care, when we are going through difficult times. Then, in 2 Corinthians 1:3,4, we find – “Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, compassionate Father, God of all encouragement and comfort; who encourages us in all our trials, so that we can encourage others in whatever trials they may be undergoing with the encouragement we ourselves have received from God.” There are many verses throughout Scripture that lead us, in our struggles with pain and grief.

Unfortunately, there are those among us who have difficulty processing grief in a healthy manner. These are people with prolonged grief disorder or complicated grief disorder[1]. More females will suffer from this disorder than will males. When someone you know is experiencing this disorder, the most important thing to do is listen to them and assist them in finding appropriate professional help. Most of us are not qualified to help another, when facing disorders associated with grieving but we are all capable to being with others, listening to them, holding them and comforting them, when they travel through their grief and pain. This is what Adonai seeks from us -to be a comfort to those in pain. Beloved, are you prepared to reach out and do your part?

CONSIDER: Do you know someone going through a grieving process, for whatever reason? Are you providing comfort? Are you listening to their pain and grief?

ACTION: If you find it difficult to be with others grieving, I urge you to pray and ask Adonai for strength and courage to step up and be one of those who comforts others during the grieving process.

PRAYER: Abba B’Shamayim, Heavenly Father, truly you are the only One who can fully understand grief and loss. We ask you, Abba, to be with us, as we travel through our own grief and profound feelings of loss and grief. We ask you to fill us with strength and courage, as we meet with others, going through this difficult process. B’Shem Adonai Yeshua, Mashichainu, the Lord Jesus, our Messiah, Amen.

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly and fully.


By heartformessiah

Dr. Michael Wodlinger is a Messianic Jew, living in Quebec, Canada. He has been a university professor and a rabbi of a Messianic Fellowship.

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