Hey guys, Aaron Kemple here. Thanks so much for your encouragement over the past few years as we sent out these daily articles. This year has been particularly challenging for the Kemple family (and also filled with many rich blessings) and I appreciate Shane for taking over the Men’s Daily Briefing and running with it. He is such a great friend to me, especially this year. Through it all, he’s been there consistently by me and by my family’s side. He’s a true friend. I look forward to see what he does this coming year with this daily blog and I am happy to be able to help by contributing articles.
May God richly bless you as 2019 ends and as we move into 2020.
Today’s article has some observations about grief. During the holidays, while we rejoice and enjoy the season, many of us also grieve. The holidays can be a painful reminder of those dear loved ones who are no longer with us. Grief will find you, whether you want it to or not. You have to face it and work through it as you move through its cycles. That’s the real point of this article today.
Grief will have its way with you, whether you want it to or not.
You can try to out-smart it, but grief is clever.
You can try to out-wait it, but grief lives on. It doesn’t have a time limit.
You can try to out-run it, but grief will eventually catch up to you.
You can try to out-work it, but when you are exhausted, it is still there.
You can try to out-eat it, or you can try to drown it with alcohol and other substances, but grief is a good swimmer. At the bottom of the bottle or at the end of the food binge, grief is there still alive and well. You have a hangover as a friend now to join hands with the pain you already feel.
You can try to out-entertain it. You can do everything in your power to distract yourself, but when the noise and flashing screens stop, grief is there staring you in the face and whispering in your ear.
You can try to deny its existence, but denying it won’t make grief go away.
Maybe you think I’m giving grief too much power here, but I would respectfully disagree. The pain is real and minimizing it doesn’t take it away, in fact it makes things worse. You have to face the grief and work through it, whenever it surfaces, because this is not a one-time battle.
I will give you a Biblical example. Isaac was 37 years old when his mother died (Sarah was 90 when Isaac was born and she was 127 when she died, see Genesis 17:17; 23:1). Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah (Genesis 25:20). The Bible tells us that when Isaac married Rebekah he was “comforted after the death of his mother” (Genesis 24:67). It had been 3 years since his mother died. Think about that! No, really…think about that! If we think that shedding a few tears and a funeral will put to rest the grief, we are fooling ourselves. It was years for Isaac and he still needed comfort after his mother’s death. I have a friend who lost a son, and someone told him at the funeral that “in time, you’ll get over it.” It’s been 20 years – he’s not “over it.”
There’s more to come on this concept, but for now, understand that you have to embrace the grief. Acknowledge it. If you stub your toe, you say, “Ouch, my toe hurts,” and maybe add a few frills and dressings. If you hurt inside, you need to acknowledge that pain. It’s okay to say, “Ouch, I hurt.” Let it out…sometimes you have to pop the balloon and have a good cry. Scream at the top of your lungs out in the garage or in the woods and tell God how much you hurt. Talk about it to a trusted friend. It may be that you sit down and talk to a counselor – that is a good thing, not a sign of weakness. Watch the Disney/Pixar movie, “Inside Out,” I believe that movie is very helpful in teaching about the emotions in life, including pain and grief. Talk to God about your pain, David, Jesus and Elijah did. Read the Psalms. Go to worship God with others…they are hurting in their own ways, too. Look around to encourage others who are hurting like you. I’m not saying any of these things will “fix it,” but they do help along the way.
Okay, that’s it for now.