By Chaplain Vivian Short
“We grieve, but not as those who have no Hope”
– 1Thess. 4:13
It may seem a bit of an oxymoron to think that Hope and Grief could co-exist. You are invited to ponder that thought in this devotion.
If one would define hope, it could be described as a “desire of anticipation with an expected end”. We hope for many things in life. Hope to get married, hope to get through a challenge at work, hope to get promoted, hope that a loved one won’t die. We have “Hope” in all different degrees and areas of our lives.
Then on the other side of the coin, there is “Grief”. That inevitable life experience of intense emotions in response to a loss, crisis, or death. It can send us in a whirling storm of emotions that snatch us from the norm, onto a journey of shock, confusion, and even depression. A sea of feelings that we prefer to avoid, less more than describe to someone.
One can feel as if all hope is gone. We struggle with what to do next, and even if the tears we shed, will ever stop. This roller coaster can seem as if you are losing your mind.
Yes, it all sounds scary and bleak, but there is always “Hope”. Stay encouraged, don’t let the darkness of grief overcome you, for there are elements of Hope all around. Take a moment, close your eyes and think.
What gives you Hope? What motivates you to go the extra mile, to keep trying, and not throw in the towel? Could it be the loving relationships and support from others that gives you Hope? Is it being intentional and staying positive that gives Hope? Perhaps receiving forgiveness and being forgiven gives Hope of reconciliation. Trusting God for the outcome, gives Hope. Meditation and prayer, or someone praying for us, can give Hope.
We can be comforted by the word of God that reminds us that, “We grieve, but not as those who have no Hope”, (1Thess. 4:13). God’s promise of eternal life gives us reassurance and Hope beyond the present. Yet, even in the present, He is with us. There is Hope, for us to press forward.
The sun will shine after the storm, daylight will come after darkness, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning, this too shall pass. Yes, “Grief” will come, but “Hope” can always be present too. We can choose to harness it, embrace it through others and the love of God, to be the HOPE that can exist; even in the midst of GRIEF.