It was a simple faculty retreat. A morning of encouragement and new ideas on how to improve instruction. Then she started talking about work and faith integration. She shared about the loss of her niece. She shared the the helpless feeling when unable to bring healing as a doctor. She shared the depth of the grief her brother and sister in law as this mother cradled the ashes of her child and sobbed. She shared how the cross became a symbol of immense grief and profound hope. She shared her story in great moving detail. I felt kicked in the chest.
My heart flooded with grief. It was overwhelming and surprising. I was surprised at the depth of sorrow I felt. I was reminded how grief comes in unexpected ways. I was not only feeling the grief of my own recent losses, but I was feeling the grief of the parents of those gone. I was seeing my brother and his wife cradleing the ashes of their daughter. A grief no one should ever have to carry.
The cross represents grief and hope. Jesus’ death on the cross encompasses all the grief and sorrow one can bare. But, it doesn’t end their. Death, grief, sorrow don’t have the last word. It doesn’t end on the cross. It ends with life. It ends with resurrection. It ends with hope.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c] (Psalm 46:1-3 NIV).
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).
As hard as the road of grief is, I am not dismayed. I trust the One who knows my grief. I trust strength will come again. I trust that I am being held in His right hand. And, it is my continual prayer for my brother, his wife, daughter, and dear friends that they know the hope of Christ and trust His strength to carry them through.
How do you find hope in grief? How has Christ strengthened you? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.