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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Good Grief: Grief is Real

by David Chadwick


“Good grief.” It’s a commonly used statement to display frustration. It’s a phrase that shows deep emotion. Sometimes even annoyance with someone. But at its core, the phrase really is about grief. Many of you probably remember it as Charlie Brown’s favorite phrase. But I want you to walk away from this week knowing that grief really can be good. God can take all your “good griefs” and turn them into GOOD grief.


Grief is real. It happens to everyone. Over the past several weeks, I’ve cared for a friend who suddenly lost his 20 year old daughter to heart failure. And another one who was told he had weeks to live.


Even Jesus knew grief all too well as he cried over Lazarus’s death. It’s rooted in loss. In fact, someone once said that grief is spelled L-O-S-S. I tend to agree. And the greater the value of what was lost, the greater the grief.


So how should we handle it? Well, I want to walk you through a few things I have learned in 40 plus years of ministry about helping people walk through grief.


Here’s my first suggestion. Because we know grief is real, you must let it take you where it needs to take you.


It’s kind of like being in the ocean. You know that feeling when you’re out in the water and a rogue wave hits you? Every lifeguard teaches you that if this happens, go limp. You have to yield to the power of the wave and let it take you where it wants to take you. Then, once the intensity dies down, you can hopefully get up and get to the shore to rest.


The grief in your life can be triggered by a sight, sound, smell or memory. It often catches you off guard like that rogue wave I just talked about. When it hits, go limp. Ride through the emotions and embrace them. It will eventually pass.


And always remember, dear friends, that everyone grieves differently. Be patient with people walking through it when they experience a rogue wave. Also, know that when you recover, you’ve got to get back up and go back out into the water. If not, you’ll never enjoy the ocean again. You’ll not enjoy life again. Don’t allow grief to keep you from enjoying life!


Allow God to heal you and minister to you in your grief, so it becomes a good grief!!

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