Unlike human beings, God will never die. He will never leave, nor will we ever be away from His love. Since this is true we can know why we should be grateful in our grief.
Continuing on from how can I be grateful in a season of grief, we now reflect upon the question of why I should be grateful in a season of grief. Maybe you have often wondered the same question. Why should we be grateful when all we are experiencing is pain and grief? This is a question that needs to be answered in order to help us healthily navigate our heartache and pain.
To be honest, it is a difficult concept to know the why behind most things. Especially in the matter of grief, it can feel nearly impossible to see why we should be grateful while surrounded by so much hurt. If anything, we feel we should be crying and hiding from the world as we experience our grief. This is a valid response to grief and one that I still experience, but we can still be grateful. We should be grateful in a season of grief because God is teaching us something through the pain.
Similar to many people who have lost loved ones, I have never been the same since they died. I used to be more bubbly and extroverted, but now I battle depression and prefer to keep people at a distance. Maybe you have noticed the same to be true in your own life. Whether a loved one died or another reason for grief has come into your life, it may have changed you as a person. If this has happened, know that it is alright and there is nothing wrong with you. Tragic times have a way of changing people.
Through these seasons of grief, we can be grateful because God is teaching us about loss, pain, and the importance of turning to Him. How many times have you turned to God when your life was going smoothly, and everything was happy? Now think about how many times you turned to God when you were going through a season of grief. More likely than not, you turned to God more in times of distress than you did during times of happiness. Our seasons of grief can teach us this vital lesson and explain why we can be grateful.
We can be grateful because we know God is always there for us. Unlike human beings, God will never die. He will never leave, nor will we ever be away from His love. Since this is true we can know why we should be grateful in our grief. God is with us, and through Him, we have the promise of seeing our loved ones again in heaven. We can be grateful to God because even though death is ultimately mankind's fault, our mistake has been fixed through the saving work of Jesus Christ. If it wasn't for Jesus, we would all be lost and without hope. Grief reminds us of this hope.
The Journey of Grief
It can be hard at the beginning to see anything to be grateful for, but there is much to be thankful for. It can be even harder to find a reason why to be grateful. Oftentimes, right after the cause of the grief, it's too early to start seeing all the things you are grateful for. It is good to give yourself time to grieve, cry, and miss your loved one. Throughout the months and years, you will discover a state of peace and a new rhythm where you can begin to be grateful and see the reason why to be grateful even in the midst of your grief.
As I mentioned in part one, my loved ones have been gone for seven years at this point, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't miss them. Even though I still grieve for them, I am able to see the why. Why should I be grateful in the season of grief? I should be grateful because of Jesus' saving grace through the cross and how I will see my loved ones once again in heaven. I can also be grateful because, through these seasons of grief, I have become emphatic and more understanding of people. Maybe you have noticed some things to be thankful for in your own life too not despite this season of grief but because of this season of grief.
Be thankful for the lessons, the love, and the laughter that your loved one left with you. We often think of our loved ones being gone when they pass away, but nobody is ever actually gone. They are just somewhere else. If our loved ones placed faith in Jesus, they are in heaven with Him, and you will see them again. Our grief will never remain forever as there will be a time when every tear will be wiped from our eyes (Revelation 21:4). Choose to be thankful for all these little things, and don't allow the grief to cause you to grow bitter.
Looking to Eternity
We can also be grateful that our earthly life isn't forever. As was the case for my dog, Beauty, and my mom, they were both in terrible pain up to their death. I'm grateful they don't have to be in pain anymore. They are with God, and never again will they have to experience any discomfort.
I remember about a week after Beauty passed, I asked my mom how long the pain in my heart was going to last—the deep aching in my heart. My mom told me that it might never go away, but it would lessen as days went on. My mom was right; the pain has lessened, but the grief still remains. If I keep myself busy, I don't have much time to think about the sadness, but if I have a free day, I find myself drifting back to that dark place. Something else my mom told me that day changed my perspective greatly. I told my mom I just wanted Beauty back, and my mom told me that she knew how badly I was hurting, but the hard truth is that it's often our own selfishness that causes us to want the person or furry friend with us. We want them with us even though they are far happier and without pain in heaven with God.
I've had many years to reflect on the death of my loved ones, so don't get discouraged if you're not at the stage to start feeling grateful or to know the why in why you should be grateful. Grief comes in waves, and everyone's grief journey is different. Some might heal faster, while others might take longer. If you are grieving, extend yourself grace, and don't beat yourself up or play the "what if?" game. I have done this millions of times, and it never does anything to help.
Seasons of grief are hard, but through these seasons, God helps us grow, and He always blesses us with the comfort of His love. As you are walking through this season of grief, know that God is walking right beside you. He isn't going anywhere, and He will be with you through it all (Psalm 23). Whether your reason for grief is new or old, know that your feelings are valid and God cares about each one. Turn to God in your pain and tell Him everything you are experiencing. He will continue to be with you, and He will comfort you with the comfort only He can provide.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.