During the day of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he SUFFERED...(Hebrews 5:7-8).
Peter Scazzero in his workbook, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, says, "Loss is a place where self-knowledge and powerful transformation can happen-if we have the courage to participate fully in the process." The capacity to engage (well) our personal grief and losses is almost a fairytale notion. When was the last time someone modeled for you the ability to emotionally grieve well their pain, loss, or suffering?
Isn't it true for many of us? That we have a tendancy to escape into work, entertainment, shpping, alcohol, food, busyness, sex, unhealthy relational attachments, people pleasing, medications, and even unhealthy volunteerism in church to deal with any kind of grief, pain, suffering or loss in our lives. Anything we can do to escape...or run...hide...or deny the fact that we are hurting. When loss enters our life we love to begin the medicating process of numbing the pain.
Is it normal to avoid year after year the difficulties of our pain and losses of life? Yes! But, is it healthy? No! Jesus' continually offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to God in hte midst of suffering.The ancient Hebrews used to express thier losses, pain (laments) by tearing their cloths and utilizing sackclothe and ashes.
What has happen to all the REAL MEN? Real men don't show emotion! Real men don't cry! Real men don't...and the list goes on. I beleive Hollywood has shaped what a man is suppose to be more than the scriptures has for many men who follow Christ. Men are suppose to be strong, steadfast, an unemotional king. However, the end result of such TOUGH MAN spiirtuality, is a generation of men that have a high probability of becoming: emotional infants, abusive (emotionally, spiritually, or physically), internally hostile, continually live in denial, continually blaming (others, themselves, or God), distracted, medicated (pills, alcholol, or drugs), addicted to porn/sex. Why? Because many men havn't been taught how to EMBRACE the losses, pain, suffering and hurt in their lives from a truly masculine (biblical) approcah.
The Hope: Experiencing loss and pain confronts us with our humainty. However, one of the central messages of Christ is that through suffering and death brings resurrection and new life. The model and biblical teaching is that we must deal honestly, authetically, and prayerfully with our hurt, pain, and losses (no matter the confsuing and painful emotions that come with dealing with it head on). God has the pontial to enlarge our heart, mind, and soul thrugh our pain, loss, and grief...this is our faith, this is our hope!
Great Questions for Reflection:
- In what ways is God bringing you to your knees through grief, pain, and loss in your life?
- What might it mean for you to enter the painful reality of your losses rather than avoiding them?
- In what ways are you tempted to spin or cover over our losses and miss God's deeper work in your interior?
- Are there any losses you have not yet embraced where new life is still waiting to be birthed?