A couple of years ago I wrote about doing The Next Right Thing.
As parents who have experienced the death of our child, we have to choose what the next right thing is for us. We have to choose how we will live…or if we will live.
No, I’m not talking about taking our own life. But the pain of grief is so great at times that we long for Heaven! It is tempting to hide, to stay away from people, to withdraw from society. It exhausting to go on living day to day after our child’s death.
I must ask myself…Will I hide and avoid people? Will I shut myself off from friends and family who may very well say something that causes me hurt, however innocently their comments may be? Or will I do the next right thing and be an active part of the body of Christ, loving others as Christ loved me?
Our friends just don’t get it. They don’t understand the pain of child loss. They can’t. They haven’t experienced this pain!
Yet, many of them have experienced pain. Their pain may be different than ours, but they have known hurt. They may be dealing with a failed marriage or financial issues. They may fear for an adult child caught in addiction. They may have elderly parents with dementia or a special needs child who requires twenty-four hour care. And many of them need the comfort that comes from God. The comfort we ourselves have known.
We are tired and worn down. It’s hard to go out and smile and listen to small talk. It’s hard to deal with the things bothering others. It’s hard to even be around other people.
Yet, many of our friends are dealing with hard things in their lives. Hard things that are different than our hard thing, but they are struggling. They may need encouragement. Encouragement from us.
We need time to heal. No one runs a marathon on a broken leg! My heart is broken! How can you expect me to even try to help someone else?
Jesus was “a man of sorrow, familiar with suffering” (Isaiah 53). Yet He gave up everything for us! Knowing we would betray Him. Knowing we would sin. He spent three years without a home, traveling on foot hundreds of miles to share His love with us. He willing went to the cross and suffered for you and me.
God promises to comfort those who grieve. He is near to the broken-hearted. He spoke through a Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. God tells us we do not suffer alone; we share in Christ’s sufferings and in Christ’s comfort. He made it clear that our comfort is not for us alone.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
So, my friend, will you choose to do the next right thing? Will you choose to live well and do the good works God has prepared for you to do? Will you accept the comfort offered to you by God? And will you comfort others in their affliction? The choice is yours.