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We must remember that grieving is a process

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: There has been so much grief this year — people who have suffered from widespread disease — and people who have died alone, no family could be with them in their last moments of life due to isolation demanded by health officials. I am a believer in Jesus Christ but I still don’t know how to comfort those who have gone through so much hurt. How does a person help others cope with such sorrow? — C.S.
Dear C.S.: No matter how certain we are that life will bring grief to all we are always surprised when it comes, but we cannot deny it or feel guilty over it. When it creeps up on us at unexpected times we must remember that grieving is a process. It doesn’t go away overnight. When those who have died knowing the Lord Jesus as their Savior, we are comforted, knowing that we will see them again.
After a time of grief, it is important to turn our focus to the future and not dwell only on the past. There are others who love us and need us, and we still have responsibilities to live in the present. God is not finished with us and He has a plan for the remainder of our lives.
A woman endured being bedridden by crippling arthritis for several years. Instead of concentrating on her pain and loneliness, she began to intercede for others in prayer, and she found inner peace and joy deep down because of the comfort of God’s Spirit within. When we cast our cares on Him, and lift others up in prayer, He reveals Himself in ways we would have never thought (1 Peter 5:7).
When we begin reaching out to others, God uses this to reassure us of His goodness and purposes. An “attitude of gratitude” begins to move us beyond sorrow.
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)