“Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. When He came in, He said to them, ‘Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.’ ” Mark 5:38-39
There’s nothing more natural than grieving. Anytime we experience loss there’s some degree of grieving involved depending on the relationship we had with what was lost. The closer and deeper the relationship the more profound the grieving can be.
It’s also true that different people experience grief differently. For some the experience of grief is for a brief period of time intense and profound but they’re able to relatively quickly process and move on. Others experience their grief deeply but in outwardly subtle ways that are processed over a much longer period of time. These are just two examples of the variety that can be exhibited as different people express their grief.
It’s important to understand that while we may express our grief differently that, unless a person gets trapped in their cycle of grief or becomes destructive as part of their grieving, there’s no right or wrong way to grieve.
The depth of our grief is also affected by our understanding of the loss we’ve experienced and this is the aspect of grief Jesus is addressing in our focus text. Sometimes we misapprehend the profoundness of our loss. With regards to death it’s difficult for Christians to relate to their loss according to the realty we know to be true.
Scripture tells us that the loss of the death of a believer is temporary and that it will be followed be a never ending eternity of life together after Jesus returns and rewards the righteous. But even though we know this to be true the loss we experience feels permanent, the separation unending, and when we grieve, we grieve according to what we feel.
We need to nurture everyday the hope that we have in Jesus. We need to remind ourselves of the realities that we have because we have Jesus in our lives. We need to exhort one another and build each other up in accordance to the “exceeding great and precious promises” Christ has given to us. Then, while we will grieve, we will not grieve “as others who have no hope.” Our grief will be in accordance to both the loss we endure and the hope we hold in our hearts.