When was a time you faced deep grief? Perhaps it was when you lost someone you loved. That isn’t the only time we grieve, though. Divorce brings grief. Even severe arguments that bring a deep divide cause grief. Certainly we could list many other causes of grief, but more than focusing on the grief itself or the cause of the grief let’s see how the Bible deals with grief. We’ll use Psalm 31 as a focus.
In Psalm 31, David deeply admits the sorrow of his heart. Here we learn that grief is real and is acceptable. The Bible acknowledges that there is real pain in our lives. Our hearts are broken from time to time. Sometimes the hurt is deeper than others, but it is real. Do not be surprised, then, when you face the sorrow of grief. Everyone that loves faces it at some time in life.
In this passage we see some interesting focal points. The first looks at the hurt. David not only acknowledges the hurt, but he looks to the one that caused it in his life. For him it was people that wanted to do him harm. Perhaps that is true for you, but it may not be a specific person that has brought this pain to you. It could be a circumstance or some other event that has brought pain to your life. We see another focus though. David also looks at others around him. He realizes that this hurt affects the way they look at him. He feels their gaze as they know he is in real distress. I remember the first time I went out in public after suffering the loss of a child. It felt as if everyone was looking at me and whispering, “There’s the guy who just lost a baby. We better avoid him.” Of course that probably wasn’t true of everyone around me, but I certainly felt that way.
However, even through the reality of grief we see David’s most consistent and most important focus is on God. Psalm 31 is made up of 24 verses. In these 24 verses we hear David remind himself at least 30 times of God’s strength. He remains grounded in the reality that his grief is real and strong, but God is greater and is able to deliver him and comfort him. David sees his grief and its affects, but his focus is on God. He works to direct his mind to remember the love, help and faithfulness of God. He cries to God and knows that God hears him. His deepest focus is not on the reality of grief, but on the reality of God.
Know that grief is real. And it is coming to your house. Where will you turn in your storm of sorrow?