Clinton Avenue Reformed Church
 2017 Blog Number 212
 September 5, 2017
 Good Grief

When we were young many of us followed the “Peanuts” cartoon. Charlie Brown became a hero to many of us who had the same childhood insecurities as he did. One thing that I never understood from him was the expression that he frequently used, “Good Grief.” I always wondered how grief could be good. I’m still wondering how grief can be good.

I’m back from my vacation but I am grieving. My vacation certainly was not the relaxing treat that I had expected. I am considering calling this month, “the month of death.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was rumored to have died. Fortunately this was not true. A childhood icon, Jerry Lewis, did die. At the end of the summer, a beloved long-time member died. It was a sad day for our congregation as well as her younger sister, one of our most faithful elders. These deaths caused grief.

My greatest grief was the unexpected and unexplainable death of my unborn Grandsons. They were discovered to be deceased before my daughter’s labor had a chance to begin. I thought that I would be a grandfather by the end of the summer but it was not to be. Good grief? I don’t see anything good about the grief that I am enduring. The world now seems like a very dark place. So how does one go on after such grief that is not good?

I wait for the Holy Spirit to bring healing to myself and the family. Until then I repeat as a mantra question one from our beloved Heidelberg Catechism:

1. Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?

A. That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.

I will trust in God’s providence until I am healed by God’s grace.

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