As we have been grieving over my mom’s death, we have found the example of Jesus to be very helpful.
Two stories come to mind.
The first is when Jesus lost one of his close friends, Lazarus. Keep in mind Jesus was God in the flesh and would eventually bring Lazarus back to life. Yet when the sad news of Lazarus’ death came to Jesus, Jesus did one thing.
He didn’t offer spiritual platitudes like, “It’s going to be alright.” Or “God is in charge.” Or “There is a divine plan in all of this.”
He simply wept.
The second is the night that Jesus was betrayed. While in the garden, knowing what was about to happen, Jesus wept so hard his tears had blood in them.
He felt the sorrow, grief and pain at an incredibly deep level.
At first blush it seems a bit odd. After all it did work out for the best, God was in charge, and there was a divine plan. Yet in spite of those facts (yes there were/are facts) Jesus wept.
No spiritual truth would belittle his mourning. He mourned in full.
As you walk through your times of sorrow and/or walk with others in the midst of their pain, consider how Jesus grieved. Avoid the temptation to offer spiritual truths – an ill-timed truth is neither helpful nor what was modeled by Jesus. Rather remember Jesus’ example: