A successful life is to be enjoyed, celebrated, and always on an upward path to happiness. Or so we are told. Most of us believe this and do everything we can to ensure this positive outcome for the years we are given.
Celebrities seem to have all the good things of life. Check-out line magazines glamorize their lifestyles and scandalous behavior. Successful sports stars and Hollywood types become the role models young people want to emulate.
The shocking news of two celebrities that committed suicide reveals a different reality than the tabloids. Both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain appeared to have it all—success, fame, fortune, and a glamourous lifestyle. The dark thoughts and struggles they experienced were kept well hidden from the public. The teenage daughters they left behind will face their grief with more questions than answers.
Yesterday, two Kansas City deputies were shot to death as they were transporting an inmate from jail to the courthouse. Apparently the inmate overpowered the officers in the police car. It is such a tragic ending for those trying to do their job and uphold the law. Several children no longer will have their mother and father in their lives.
Life was turned upside down for two friends from our church whose daughter died from Sepsis after going to the hospital with a kidney stone. No parent expects to outlive their children and that grief seems more difficult to bear. Such an event leaves one feeling helpless and hopeless.
I know that our friends’ daughter believed in Jesus and that her parents will take comfort and encouragement from two Bible verses that speak on the subject of grief. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“Brothers, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who are without hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
Grief is a darkness that all of us will experience at some point in our lives, but a very necessary process that leads to healing. The difference for the Christian is that we have the ability to grieve with hope–knowing that this life isn’t the end. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome knowing he would soon experience his own death:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13
The older I get the more I am aware of the brevity of this life. Like many of you I’ve experienced seasons of grief and probably will again in the future. I pray that all of us who grieve will find the hope that only faith in Jesus Christ can give.
|Stages of Grief|