When Your World Breaks
October 22, 2023
Every life touches grief more than once and the experience is bewildering. This is a good place to define grief because it has a much more expansive reach than we sometimes realize. When Jesus speaks of mourning, everyone who heard his words framed that ache into the specifics of their lives because  grief is universal. But each also has a perspective because  grief is unique. Just as our fingerprints have distinctive grooves, so does our sorrow. But to all who were listening, whose hearts were open,  grief is uniting. We may not know all there is to another person’s life, but we have known enough of our worlds breaking we can have empathy for each other.
The Path and Pace of Grief
October 29, 2023 • Nathan Logsdon • Psalm 23
David’s words have been spoken again and again in times of sorrow and grief. They’ve ministered to every generation since they were penned, so we turn to them not because they are poetic but because hope resonates through the clutter of pain. This psalm speaks to God’s presence with us as a guide to all of life - even the hard parts. John Ortberg has a phrase “being present to the Presence in the present” to bring awareness and fullness to life. His presence is easily forgotten during the good times and questioned in the moments of grief and loss. Learning how to grieve well in light of hope involves the truths of this psalm.  Tune your heart to recognize God when things are green pastures and quiet waters.  Trust him as a guide in life for the path you’re living, even when that path is through the darkest valley.  Pay attention to the pace of a walk. For sake of ease we try to rush through the grief of a dark valley or numb ourselves or deny our sorrow (all these work counter to his presence). Focus on directions, not speed.
One truth and a lot of tears
November 5, 2023 • Kevin Brimner • John 11:1–44
“Hope doesn’t make sense unless you’ve lived through the hard,” Ben Woods. While not all grief hits the ‘red line’ of our lives, when it does, hope plays a central part of making sense of the sorrow. Heartache is always searching for hope, a reason to believe. The hardest grief may be the loss of life. In that space we must draw upon a truth that is outside of our experience but right in the middle of our faith. Jesus “is the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in (him) will live, even though they die; and whoever lives believing in (him) will never die.” Jesus meets us in our humanity and shares in our tears.
The God Who Comforts
November 12, 2023 • Kevin Brimner • 2 Corinthians 1:3–7
It’s not an anomaly to see someone seeking comfort from a source which can never bring true comfort. Each time we seek comfort from something other than God (who is the God of all comfort), in reality we are numbing ourselves from grief. (list of ways we push grief away/numb ourselves: play, work, destructive habits too, etc.). How we share in the sufferings of Christ: a friend’s active betrayal, misunderstandings, even the generality of living in a fallen world with fallen systems and fallen people. And while Jesus experienced all aspects of suffering while in the flesh, in his resurrection we have all the comfort of knowing there is full resolution in our future. Imagine “abounds” as a river overflowing its bank with wave after wave of comfort. The God of all comfort gives each of us more comfort than we can contain so that we can share that comfort with others. The more we talk about our grief/comfort we build up “patient endurance.” List of ways to share our comfort to build up patient endurance in others (and ourselves):  talk about your grief/your story shapes your helping  listen well  pray with and for them asking Spirit to supernaturally step in.