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Prolong Grief - A Biblical Perspective


Its universally humane, to not want anyone to suffer in any manner.  However, when grief commence due to the death of a loved one, no one can or should direct a person’s grieving in order for them to conform to a norm or a standard for grief.

Prolonged grief over the enormous loss of a loved one caused by death should not be automatically judged or misjudged as anything else, other than deep sorrow.  What is needed in grief or sorrowing, is non-judgmental compassion and healing patience.  To place a limit on the amount of time any person should grieve over the significant loss of a loved one, is to place a limit on the depth of the love one should have for a person.

Love, and to the degree of it is individually and personally felt.  Likewise, grief and the degree of it, is individually and personally felt also.

The Bible records people whose grief/sorrow was prolonged.  In the book of Genesis, it records the prolonged grief of the patriarch Jacob over the loss of his “beloved favorite son” Joseph.  Jacob, expressing the depth of his profound loss and  the depth he had  for his son, said these words:

“For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him”. Genesis 37

The book of Isaiah records Jesus Christ’s suffering on earth as being ongoing sorrow and grief; so much so that the prophet Isaiah said this of Him in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah:

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”. – Isaiah 53:3-4

How else could our Lord know and understand our every care and be a faithful high priest who has been touched with all of our infirmities in every aspect of life (yet without sin).   He was greatly despised and hated, spitefully envied, rejected, cast out, oppressed, lied upon, called a servant of Beelzebub, betrayed, arrested, forsaken, imprisoned, beaten, spit upon, mocked, sentenced to death, nailed to a cross, lifted up high from the earth to be hanged, and that all would see, hanging in agony dying he was mocked again, and died.   

And because of the depth of his love for humanity was so wondrous, Jesus said these words in Luke 23:34 as he hung on the cross:

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”.

Grief and sorrow is not departmentalized to death only either.   It is experienced by those who have suffered in misery for years of oppression; afflictions of cruel injustices continually; false imprisonment; or even realizing the magnitude of one’s sinful act upon another, and against God.

David, King of Judah after realizing the magnitude of his sin concerning his faithful servant Uriah said these anguishing words: 

“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me”.  Psalms 51:3   “For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me”. - Psalms 40:12  Later, in David's life God declared that he was a man after his own heart. Act 13:22-23

No pre-approval or approval is needed for deep sorrow, prolonged mourning, or a fallen countenance. What is needed is non-judgmental compassion, and healing patience in due time.  The book of Job is an example of misjudgments of some sympathizers that went to mourn and comfort a man suffering from great losses that included all 10 of his children that were killed (in one day).  And when they came to see the man who was their friend they wept.  But in unrighteous judgment they all tried to convince him that the cause of his misery was punishment for his sins.

It is never wise to judge others by others for standards, or misjudge for lack of understanding.  There is only one who provided standards for all of humanity, and it is its Creator, God.  And it is only God that knows the degree of a person’s love and loss, and can give them the peace of healing and comfort that pass all understanding.

                     The God of All Hope, Peace, and Comfort is Faithful

Psalms 43:4-5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.  My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

Lastly, because God cares about our whole well being so much, he counsels us through his word, that when anything becomes to much for our hearts to bear daily, to remember these words:

"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us....looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our cast all our cares upon him, and commend the safe keeping of our soul and your loved one's soul to God."  Hebrew 12:1-2; I Peter 5:7; I Peter 4:19 

In time....(God knows when), he wants us all to move forward with his help and for his purpose; to continue glorifying him in our personal lives for his many bountiful blessings through the sacrificial love of his Son that gives everlasting life. 


                                Anchored in the Love and Faithfulness of God              



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About the Author

Christian - Psychology of Grief Study at the University of Central Oklahoma - Member of Nat’l Council on Family Relations ::: I am profoundly familiar with the pain of grief, sorrowing, and mourning caused by the enormous loss of a dear love one. I am in anguish and pain over the recent loss (August 10, 2012) of my husband of 37 years and 8 months, and my mother 5 years ago (August 17, 2005); my first sibling (of nine), my brother over 20 years ago, and when my father died when I was 7 years.

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