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  • Amy Cate Smith

Why Grief and Hope Go Together

On days like this, when it’s a little harder to breathe, I’m reminded of John 11. Where we can find the Bible’s shortest verse.

“Jesus wept.”

In the Christian world, or maybe just in my Christian world, so many have made being sad and grieving a sign of weakness and doubt. “She is not rejoicing that her loved one is in Heaven, she must not really know Jesus.” or the best one is always along the lines of “You’re an example to so many people, you don’t need to be sad. People need to see hope, not grief.”

I’m sorry I didn’t know that grief was the absence of hope. Or hope the absence of grief. Oh, that’s right because it’s not.

In John 11, Jesus knows fully that Lazarus will be raised from the dead. He knows he will be back soon. But we still see Jesus troubled and sad. Some say Jesus is troubled here for his friends who are crying, some say Jesus is troubled because of their disbelief that He has it under control, and some say Jesus cried because of the separation of the moment from those he loved from Lazarus. We also see Jesus crying in the Garden. When He knows the outcome, but He realizes the separation He will face from His Father. Even if three days, he is dreading being away from Him in that short moment.

Today has been one month since Kim died. 129 months since my dad died.

The separation never gets easier. I will never get over it. And those people who think you get over death, have never been through it. Those who think sharing in pain, crying in the struggle and not always being happy in the darkness is a sign of weakness or no hope, have not been through the fire. And if you have not through the fire, hold on cause it’s coming.

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews that came with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled.. Jesus wept.” John 11:33-35

Jesus was weeping for those He loved because they were weeping. He was weeping, just like He hurts for us when we are weeping. He is walking besides us crying with us. And it’s not because He is not in control of this situation or because He doesn’t see the end, it’s because He loves us and He is sad when we are sad. He isn’t leaving us alone in our suffering and saying “I already gave you the Hope you need. Take it or leave it!” He is walking beside us in the grief and in the pain and He understands. He understands the grief of separation if only for a small time.

The thought of being separated right now knocks the breath out of us, but the knowledge of spending eternity together picks us back up. Getting back up. That is grieving with hope.

I hope you know Jesus is walking beside you in your grief. You are not alone. You are not weak or hopeless because of your suffering, your questioning, or your pain. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with His Joy and His Light. A Joy and a Light that never goes out even in the darkest of times.

In your grief, have hope because nothing today is compared to what it will be like for eternity.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

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