We will all do our fair share of grieving in this life, some more than others.
It’s been a few years since Robert Rogers lost his whole family in a wall of water on a rainy, dark night. This grieving man had come to play piano to the residents of the nursing home where my mother lives.
She told me his story as chronicled in his book Into the Deep: One Man’s Story of How Tragedy Took His Family but Could Not Take His Faith (Focus on the Family Books).
Robert alone survived raging, rapidly rising flash flood waters which swept their silver minivan off I-35, trapping some and sweeping others out into the cruel torrent. Wouldn’t you ask, “Why?”
Why did God allow this to happen?
Stunned and exhausted, but alive, Robert had to deal with intense grieving in the days ahead as he identified and buried his loved ones and returned to an empty home.
“As I stood in my home for the first time since the flood, the essence of my family engulfed me. Reminders of them surrounded me. But there was something else to remind me that they were gone: silence. There were no cheers as I came through the door, no cries in the other room, no whining over who pinched whom, no ‘I love yous,” and no music.”
Grief is a natural response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, spiritual, and philosophical dimensions.
We All Grieve Differently
We all experience grief differently; there is no right or wrong way.
The grief associated with death is familiar to most people, but individuals grieve in connection with a variety of losses throughout their lives, such as unemployment, ill health or the end of a relationship.
Loss can be categorized as either physical or abstract, the physical loss being related to something that the individual can touch or measure, such as losing a spouse through death, while other types of loss are abstract, and relate to aspects of a person’s social interactions.
Every step of the grieving process is natural and healthy.
It is only when a person gets stuck in one step for a long period of time that the grieving can become unhealthy, destructive and even dangerous. Going through the grieving process is not the same for everyone, but everyone does have a common goal; acceptance of the loss and to keep moving forward.
The Word of God gives us such tremendous comfort and solid counsel in times of loss and grieving. As a believer in Christ, when I grieve I hold on to the promises in God’s Word.
Scriptures For Those Grieving
~2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 “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.”
~Isaiah 41: 10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
~Psalm 119: 50 “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”
~Lamentations 3: 31-33 “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”
~2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;…”
~Psalm 46: 1-2 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
~Matthew 5: 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
~Psalm 18: 28 “For it is You who lights my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness.”
~Romans 8: 18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
~Isaiah 43: 2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
~Revelation 21: 4 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
~Psalm 18: 2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
~1 Peter 5: 6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
~1 Corinthians 15:51-57 “Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
~2 Corinthians 7: 10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
~Psalm 23: 4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
~1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
~Psalm 73: 26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
~Psalm 27: 4 “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”
~Psalm 34: 18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
~2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
~Psalm 30: 5 “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
~John 14:1-4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
~Matthew 11: 28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.“
~Romans 8: 31-39 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
“No, in all these things (even grieving) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~Psalm 22: 24 “For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
~Psalm 119: 81 “My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.”
Into the Deep is a riveting true story of what happened to the Roger’s family on the fateful night in August and how, through it all, God’s amazing grace sustained a grieving father ripped apart from the family he loved.
Robert’s book has challenged me to the core to live a life of no regrets, to cherish my loved ones, and to live life to the fullest.