Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Chapter 7

>> Monday, November 15, 2010

This chapter is entitled Enlarge Your Soul Through Grief and Loss. It's a pretty interesting topic and not one that many consider in their spiritual journey, at least before grief strikes. The author says "In our culture, addiction has become the most common way to deal with pain. We watch television incessantly. We keep busy, running from one activity to another. We work seventy hours a week, indulge in pornography, overeat, drink, and take pills- anything to help us avoid the pain. Some of us demand that someone or something (a marriage, sexual partner, an ideal family, children, an achievement, a career, or a church) take our loneliness away." Losses worthy of grieving not only include the death of loved ones, as I had originally assumed. They also include loss of jobs, spouses, lifestyles, physical ability etc. The author uses Job, who lost everything (his fortune, children, property) in one day, as an example of a Godly way to grieve. Job says...

 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”
Job 1:21
Can you imagine being able to say the prayer above after you had lost everything!?
Each chapter in this book concludes with a prayer. I found this prayer nicely sums up the emotions that often go along with grief- "Lord Jesus, when I think about my losses, it can feel that I have no skin to protect me. I feel raw, scraped to the bone. I don't know why you have allowed such pain. Looking at Job helps, but I must admit that I struggle to see something "new being birthed out of old." Lord grant me the courage to feel, to pay attention, and then to wait on you. You know that everything in me resists limits, humility, and the cross. So I invite you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to make your home in me as you describe in John 14:23, to freely roam and fill every crevice of my life. And may the prayer of Job, finally, be mine: "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you."

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