From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

I’m dealing with a lot of grief. At times, I feel paralyzed. I’ve been so wrapped up in my career that I failed to care for my elderly parents who died without any loved ones around them. It’s something I can’t undo. Can I ever overcome such grief?

— G.S.

Dear G.S.: Grief can kill a person emotionally and physically. If not counteracted with God’s strength and power, our personal weakness may debilitate us. An onslaught of grief can cause people to think they’re losing their minds. The grief-stricken person can lose the ability to concentrate, which adds to panic. This may lead, then, to emotional paralysis. Guilt, anger, resentment, and panic are some of the faces of grief. None of these reactions are abnormal.

Like soldiers going into battle, we need to be prepared for grief but the culture of today does not prepare us for it. What we need more than anything else during times of grief is a friend who stands with us, someone who will not leave us. Jesus is that friend. The Lord prepares us to weather life’s storms. He tells us to have faith in Him. He has told us that He will be with us always and “never leave [us] nor forsake [us]” (Hebrews 13:5).

Often it takes that “knife in our heart” to drive us to Him. Our faith is dependent upon God, and when we enter the valley of grief, we need His help or we will never overcome the sorrow that weighs us down.

When we belong to Christ, He offers forgiveness and strengthens us to overcome our failures and sin. We can take our cares to Him and He’ll see us through. The Bible says to fill our minds with things that are true, honorable, pure, and lovely and “His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NLT).

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