Overcoming Life’s Problems: Grief

Posted on March 1, 2013 by Truth In Action Ministries

I’’d like to talk to you about the problem of grief. Now grief is that pain that we feel when we lose something we love. And what could be more excruciating than grieving over the tragic loss of a loved one? It may be a husband or wife, a child, a mother or father, or a friend. But it could also be the loss of a home, a pet, or a job that you loved. Anything that you have loved deeply and lost will bring feelings of grief to you, and they can be extremely painful. And dealing with grief is far more difficult than people think. In fact, a tragedy in 1942 taught us about grief and how dangerous and life-consuming it can be.

This knowledge was brought to light during a terrible tragedy at the famed Coconut Grove restaurant in Boston, when a fire broke out and five hundred people were burned alive. Many others lost loved ones and were also seriously burned.

The victims were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where numerous skin grafts were performed. And then something was discovered— some of the people who had lost a loved one in that fire and also suffered grievous burns were healing nicely; others with the same experience were not doing well at all. Their bodies were rejecting the skin grafts. The wounds would not heal.

Dr. Erich Lindemann began to probe the situation. He discovered that the group that was healing had confronted their loss and grieved over their loss, while the people who were not healing had refused to face their loss and weep or mourn.

Another doctor discovered that when people will not face the loss of a loved one, this refusal almost shuts down the autonomic system that allows the body to heal.

They also discovered when grief is not properly dealt with it can produce all kinds of psychological problems— such as terrible dejection, a loss of interest in the real world, a loss of capacity to love, an inhibitive curtailment of all meaningful activity, feelings of self-reproach, and fear of punishment for what they did not do for the loved one while he or she was still alive. In addition, they have discovered all kinds of physical problems, such as shortness of breath, muscular weakness, inner tensions, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, colitis, and many other problems, which stem from grief that hasn’’t been dealt with.

So, if you want to get through this life with less pain and suffering, you need to know how to deal with grief properly, and that means you must learn to face the loss, acknowledge it, and express your grief in mourning and tears.

When it comes to grieving, it’’s a good idea to remember these two simple words: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35 nkjv). Jesus wept. He knows our pain and He endured the grief and the pain, and the agony and paid for it all.

*From a sermon delivered by Dr. D. James Kennedy on April 28, 2002,at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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