Deal­ing with grief dur­ing this time of year

The Amherst News - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - BY PAS­TOR JIM CUR­TIS Pas­tor Jim Cur­tis is with Glory Taber­na­cle Church in Amherst.

Griev­ing through the hol­i­days? Sor­row in the midst of joy?

The world around us at this time of year has been cel­e­brat­ing the sea­son of joy. Fam­i­lies re-unite from far and near, happy and up­lift­ing songs, fam­ily meals com­plete with all the favourite tra­di­tions. Glit­tery, sparkly dec­o­ra­tions, and many homes adorned with beau­ti­ful lights to catch the eye.

The joy of Christ­mas gifts be­ing en­joyed, es­pe­cially by the lit­tle ones, bring smiles to our hearts that we will trea­sure for­ever. How­ever, what if you or some­one you know has lost a loved one, es­pe­cially re­cently?

The grief ex­pe­ri­enced can only be in­creased as they are painfully aware they will not be shar­ing the joys of the sea­son with their pre­cious loved one. The empty chair at the din­ner ta­ble, or the un­opened gifts only serve to ac­cen­tu­ate the pain even more. Is it any won­der sta­tis­tics show an in­crease in de­pres­sion, sui­cides and at­tempted sui­cides?

So what can we do? Let’s show them the love of Je­sus, af­ter all He is the rea­son for the sea­son! He tells us, “blessed are they who mourn for they shall be com­forted.” (Matthew 5:4)

Com­fort comes in many ac­tions. We can give badly needed hugs, a shoul­der to cry on, or sim­ply bring pre­pared meals. We can also ex­press our com­pas­sion by shar­ing in their grief by pray­ing for them and with them. We should take the ini­tia­tive to call and visit them and of­fer words of com­fort, rather than wait­ing for them to call us.

Griev­ing is a hard and ex­haust­ing process, with some tak­ing longer than oth­ers. Je­sus re­minds us that this life we have on this earth is short and tem­po­rary. Let’s make the most of it by stor­ing up trea­sures in heaven. Give Glory to God in the high­est, peace on earth and good­will to all men.

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