Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dealing With Grief by Hardeman Nichols

My father passed away Sunday morning suddenly while I was preaching. My sermon was stopped and I traveled to Lawrenceburg to meet my mother and see his body in the hospital before it was taken away. We had a family visitation Monday morning. I spoke at his memorial service yesterday.

Today I received a letter from a lady in our congregation who lost her husband at an early age. With it was an article that she has had for years that has helped her to deal with grief. She has passed it along to others. I would like to share it with you. If you are grieving in some way, I hope this will help the process. The author is a preacher and good friend.


I have watched with great admiration and respect the courage that has borne many a saint through hours of sorrow. Here is practical advice I have seen others use in dealing with grief:
Express your emotions. It should not be considered a Christian virtue to be unmoved by the loss of a loved one. There is a difference in suppressing one's emotions and losing one's self-control. The Bible does not say, "Sorrow not"; but it says, "Sorrow not as others who have no hope" (1 Thess. 4:13).
Seek the aid of your friends. The very presence of friends is an encouragement. When Paul neared Rome, the brethren came to meet him and he "thanked God and took courage" (Acts 28:15).
Compel yourself to be with people. Your inclination may be to retreat into the refuge of privacy, but there is a greater need than one realizes to associate with others. David did (1 Sam. 12:19-23).
Express your feeling in words. Talking about it will help you to accept it. If this is done at the outset of bereavement, one will sooner be able to stabilize life.
Avail yourself to spiritual resources. Even though you may not have realized the importance of the Scriptures and their comfort, now these can help in building your faith. The power of God is a precious possession.
Don't brood over what might have been. Both Mary and Martha said, "If thou hadst been here my brother would not have died" (John 1:21, 32).
Actively pursue worthwhile tasks. Once the initial shock has been dealt with, get busy at other things. Resolve like Paul to "reach forth unto those things which are before" (Phil. 3:13).
Make careful and thoughful decisions. Many an individual jumps hastily into deciding the full scope of the future rather than waiting until he has regained a proper perspective of life. Don't get in a hurry. Make prayerful decisions.
Increase your trust in God. Those who have come through their sorrows with a deeper faith can verify that God who rules over all truly does make all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28).

~ Hardeman Nichols

It is my prayer that this will be a blessing to you. it has already blessed me. I will try to apply it. Hey, Dad...I am doing my best do to this the way you would do it.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Jeremiah, I am saddened to read this because I know you are hurting, but I am glad that you have Hope. This article has blessed me, just by reading it now as well. My heart goes out to you and your family as my Christian family, and I will say a prayer for you all. May you find peace in Him as you make this journey.