Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Self-Absorbed in Grief

One of the central tenants of the Christian faith is the need for each one of us to repent; that is, to seek God’s forgiveness for our behavior. Jesus tells us, “…unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:4. It may some harsh, but even those of us who have been deeply impacted by the death of a close loved one need to hear the call to repentance. 

Like many other grieving parents, I was guilty of being self-absorbed in my own grief. Throughout various periods since Micah died, I have focused so heavily on my own grief that I shut out most everything else from our attention. Everything else in life, whether God, marriage, family, work, or hobbies took a backseat to the pain that was driving my life. In his book, Hope for the Brokenhearted, theologian and fellow grieving father John Luke Terveen admits, “Pain had become the center of my existence, while God and his grace were all but excluded. The biggest obstacle that needed to be cleared away, preparing the way for the Lord to bring his grace and comfort, was my self-absorption.”

We cannot learn to trust in the promises of scripture if all we think about is our own pain. We cannot learn to learn wholly on God’s grace if are too busy trying to deal with our grief with our own strength. We, as grieving parents, need to recognize our need to move beyond ourselves and to turn our attention to the promises of God. Terveen writes, “It may seem a curious and inappropriate thing to say to someone feeling profound loss, but the call to repent—to turn to the Lord—is the important first step in experiencing a divine comfort that begins the healing process.”

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