COLUMN: Let the tears fall down

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By Jon Rohr

One day when I was very young my parents promised me a day out. I don’t remember if we had planned a picnic or a trip to the zoo, I just remember that it rained cats and dogs. And I also remember how heartbroken I was. It wasn’t fair to my parents, they couldn’t help the rain, but I was so disappointed.

That was probably the first time I really grieved. It was over something silly, but then again I was probably only 4 or 5 years old. In our lives, grief and sorrow become familiar companions. And grief is not just about death, it is about loss. Loss of a loved one, loss of hopes and dreams, loss of a cherished plan, we grieve over all kinds of loss.

Today someone is struggling with the loss of a beloved spouse or father. Someone else is grieving over a home lost to foreclosure. A young woman is grieving the loss of all the hopes and dreams of marriage as she signs the divorce papers. A family man is shattered with grief as he learns his job has been outsourced. 

Some of our grief and sorrows are bitter pains that leave us breathless, some pass quickly, others never truly leave us. And every single one of us deals with loss and pain, with grief and sorrow.  But we do not need to carry those burdens alone. Jesus promised “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) When we have faith in him, we have a comforter that never leaves us. We may feel alone, but in truth he walks with us through that dark valley.

Paul tells us that we should not “Grieve like the rest of men who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13) He is not telling us we don’t grieve or shouldn’t grieve, but that our grief is different. Our grief, our sorrow is temporary.  We have a hope that surpasses our grief, a faith the overcomes the shadows that can surround us, we have a light that shines even in the darkest hours.

That hope, that light is Jesus.  He is the one who walks with us, who helps us bear our burdens.  He is the one who gives perspective to our pain.  Allow him to give you comfort.  Allow him to bring you hope.  Let him light your path as you leave the darkness behind.  And remember, our hope goes beyond what we can see; it rests in what he has promised.  Trust in him and be set free!