From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Dr. Graham:
My friends are forsaking me as I mourn the death of my husband, saying it’s time to move on. This seems harsh.
Dear M.D.: Grief comes with many losses. Whatever its cause, grief will come to all of us. We need only to open our hearts to notice those with grieving hearts – for there are many others grieving as well. Grief which is not dealt with properly can cause us to lose our perspective on life.
After a personal loss, people think that nothing looks the same. Food loses its flavor, music seems hollow, and nothing satisfies. Tears come at strange times. Often someone in deep grief resents those who want to pick up the pieces and help them move on. In these times, friends seem callous and thoughtless.
Grief is nothing to be ashamed of, but we must not stay in our grief. Groping through grief is an emotional, physical, and spiritual effort. Faith in Jesus Christ — the God of all comfort — gives us the power to pass through grief. Grief turns us inward, but compassion turns us outward, and that’s what we need when grief threatens to crush us. The Bible tells us to carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Look for others to console.
Jesus was no stranger to grief. The Old Testament foreshadowed Him as a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3-4). This is why He came to live among mankind; to relate to us in our suffering and sorrow, bringing joy again to our souls. Without the sustaining hand of God, it’s hard to understand anyone overcoming grief. But Jesus conquered everything that leads to sorrow unto death, and He enables us to do the same. We are told to give Him all of our cares and concerns. The prophet Micah wrote: “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light” (Micah 7:8, NIV).