Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pastoral Perspective: On Times of Transition

Rick Warren, pastor, author of "The Purpose Driven Life", recently remarked on the subject of grief in the following comment posted via Twitter.
(This may be timely even for our community in light of yesterday's accident.)


@RickWarren Rick Warren

You never get OVER grief; You get THRU it. Grief is God's tool for transitioning thru life's losses. Grief is healthy.

19 Jul via Twitter from <!/RickWarren/status/93337220592836609>

Pastor Rick's statements on this topic speak to transitional events which bear some striking similarities of resemblance in my own recent, personal experience—of grieving and otherwise. I have also heard others in grief groups from other settings for whom these same remarks sound resonant with their situations.

The occurrence of grief at the loss of a loved one is an ongoing process that one goes through. Rather than attempting to "get over it", it can be more helpful and beneficial to actually allow oneself to experience it.

Now that may mean different things and/or different ways to do so for different people. But I can tell you that whenever I have tried to either ignore, suppress, or dismiss a wave of grief that may suddenly begin to wash over me, sooner or later it eventually backfires on me and an ensuing backlash seems to imminently happen upon me with sometimes even greater intensity. These bursts of grief can at times be, if you will, a beast of a burden.

As emotional creatures, our humanity appears to bear witness all the more from Scripture with regard to our being "fearfully and wonderfully made" in the image of and by our Creator. The words "human" and "humility" can be derived from the Latin "humus" which pertains to the ground of our being from the soil and dust of the earth. We had best remember this while navigating through the transitions of our lives.

Whenever we are tempted to deny that reality and the truth of where and how God has placed us in the grander scheme of things in space and time, the opportunity presents itself for us to either embrace the experience or be braced by it. We are after all, as the saying goes, only human. Who do we really think we are… to act as if we could control such an involuntary event of the soul? That belies the essence of our substance. What pride and arrogance for us to posit that we can ultimately hold the reins of our destiny!

No, dear beloved ones. The Lord of life is either the one and only Lord over all, or He is not Lord at all. If there is one constant, continually echoing strain of thought from the theology and tradition of our reformed faith, it is that Jesus Christ is Lord. Indeed, a high view of God's sovereignty is the very hallmark of our belief as God's people and children of the Lord. And this bears witness in and through all things, including the experience of grief and loss itself as they might be used as the Lord's instrument to help us in and through times of transition to the glory of God.

So whatever happens, come what may, let the power, presence, comfort and healing grace of God's Holy Spirit carry each and everyone in and through the challenges of the days before us. The times ahead hold the promises of God to find their yes anew in Christ Jesus our Lord!

To Him be the glory,

Pastor Rex