“Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted.” — Matthew 5:4
“Good grief.” I guess Charlie Brown started that phrase. He might have been referring to a pitiful-looking Christmas tree, a materialistic doghouse designed by Snoopy, or a wild scheme by Peppermint Patty. I’ve used the phrase, too. We kick off on the first play of the game, and it is returned by our opponent for a touchdown. Then they kick off to us, we fumble, and they return the fumble for another touchdown. Thirty seconds have run off the clock, and we are down 14–0. Good grief!
Let me ask this question: Is grief ever good?
Jesus wept. He wept over the death of his friend Lazarus. He wept because Mary and Martha lost their brother. Jesus wept because He cared and because He loved. As Christians, “good grief” occurs when we care. We grieve when we see people hurting and in pain. We grieve when the world’s standards stand in the way of inner peace and the happiness only Christ can give. We grieve when we are separated from someone we love very much. We grieve, but we grieve because we
care. Jesus said, “All people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). There is no way to love as Christ commands us to, and not grieve. Tears will be shed if we love, and that is “good grief.”
To be sure, there is great joy in being a Christian. But along with the blessings come the consequences of loving as Christ has commanded us to. One of the consequences of such love is deep and heartbreaking grief. This is good grief, and the love that stands behind it will change the world. Thanks be to God for Christ, who gives us the promise of His love and with it the blessings of good grief!
1. As a Christian coach, what breaks your heart?
2. How is Christ glorified in your grief?
3. What actions does our love for kids force us to take?
Extra Reading: John 16:20; 1 Peter 1:6–9
Lord, help us to love others as You love us and through that love, may broken hearts be restored. Amen.