Have you ever felt stuck in life? I have many times. Grieving is the only way to become unstuck. It’s a process of coming to accept what seems unacceptable. It changes you for the good, but it leaves you different.
You can only experience something for the first time once in your life. Once you experience it, you are changed. Those second and following experiences aren’t the same.
Life is like a series of gates you go through. The gates are one-way doors. After you go through them, you can’t go back. All you can do is view the past from a distance.
Grieving Helps You Let Go of Regrets
How many times have you wished you could have a do-over? You realize too late that you could have handled a situation much better.
Sometimes life can feel like a rushing river is escorting you through the gates faster than you want to go. Along the way, you hit some rocks and don’t have time to catch your breath. You can feel trapped because the gate behind you is permanently shut. You don’t want to go forward; you want to go back so you can erase your mistakes.
Godly grief allows you to move forward into a new way of living that embraces God’s salvation. Worldly grief keeps you stubborn and unwilling to accept God’s help.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.2 Corinthians 7:10 ESV
Grieving Helps You Wait For God
Sometimes life can feel like a riverbed that dried up so long ago you can remember when. The gate in front of you seems to be permanently shut. You think you are ready to move on, but God has other plans. He wants you to linger where you are for a while. You feel trapped because you can’t move forward into the future, the past seems irrelevant, and the present is boring or painful.
But you can make use of the time you have by learning that God is sufficient for all your needs.
Deep in my heart I say, “The Lord is all I need; I can depend on him!
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
It is good to wait patiently for the Lord to save us.Lamentations 3:24 (CEV) 25 (ESV) 26 (CEV)
The way forward won’t be closed forever. If it is closed, there’s more to do in this chapter of your life before you move to the next. Once you move on, you can’t return, so it is wise to be sure you are done with the current season of life.
While you are waiting, you can seek God by asking Him to accomplish His plans in your life so you can eventually open the door.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
Grieving Helps You Step Through the Open Door
Sometimes life can feel like you are on a calm lake but you are approaching a waterfall. You fear for your survival. The way forward is too open for your comfort. You’d rather enjoy the serenity of the lake.
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.Ecclesiastes 7:10 ESV
With each passing gate, a melancholy nostalgia can build. The older you are, the more there is that will never be again. But this also means God is doing something new right now and He will do even more tomorrow.
For I am about to do something new.Isaiah 43:19 NLT
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
What body of water best describes your current season of life? Remember that God is a masterful gatekeeper. Allow Him to guide you through the wilderness with all He provides. Seek wisdom from God (see Ecclesiastes 7:8-14 for more insight into grieving).