Thursday, October 13, 2011

Good Grief?

 Psalm 31:9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress;
   my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
   my soul and body with grief. (NIV)

I grew up watching Charlie Brown specials on TV (especially around the holidays).  One of Charlie Brown’s favorite sayings was, “Good grief.”  When is grief ever good?  Here is a chapter from my book, soon to be published, “Path of the Blessing.”  It is a short story of how the paths, or choices of other’s around us effect us and can cause us to grieve.

Charlie Brown by Charles Schultz
 At the end of Genesis chapter 26, there is a side note to Esau’s situation.  Remember Esau?  He is one of Isaac’s twins, and Isaac’s favorite.  He is the one that has been prophesied that he will serve his younger brother.

   He married two women and in verse 35, it says that they were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.  Yikes!  Two daughter in-laws that were a source of grief!  How terrible for Isaac and Rebekah.

   Maybe you can relate in some way?  I know I can.  Whether it is a daughter in-law, or any other relative, when someone marries into the family, and they have no regard for God and no desire to know him, it will cause you to grieve.  Either you are grieving for the one who married that person, or grieving for the person’s soul to enter into relationship with the Lord.  Grief is defined as deep sorrow or annoyance.  Honestly, there are times when I’ve felt both emotions over someone who refuses to know the Lord.  –And it’s especially hard when it’s someone who’s married a relative that you love.

   Esau had married two women that were Hittite’s.  They worshipped other gods rather than the One True God. This is an act of disobedience to what the Lord had commanded.  Esau chose to walk another path, a path he thought was best for him.

This situation could also fall into the category of friendships.  Maybe you’ve been childhood friends and now you find your friend has chosen a path to walk that is opposed to yours.  Or maybe it’s a newer friendship, where it seems like you have everything in common. Then you realize your friendship wasn’t what it seemed.  Finding that you are heading down one path and that friend is choosing to head down another, you are deeply grieved.  Many times what can divide us as friends is where the Lord is leading us individually.  Your close friend may want to walk down the same path with you, but only one of you can walk this path and your friend must wait.  This may cause hurt and misunderstanding resulting in detours along their path.  But it doesn’t have to be that way, where friendships can overcome these differences is on a path filled with grace, love and support for the other person.  Each one must choose.

   Whether you are in a family or friendship, other people’s decisions to follow a certain path can affect you.

   How about marriages?  In the past ten years, I have known about seven couples that have gone through divorce or are on the verge of divorce.  One spouse chooses to walk a path of infidelity, another spouse choses to walk a path of pornography another choses to walk a path of divorce and another choses to walk a path of drugs. Others chose to walk a path devoted to serving a god called “work” and another chose a path of verbal abuse.  But what can we do about this?  What of the other person in the marriage?  Yes, sometimes we do grieve when we are finding ourselves on a path disintegrating before us.  A path that was made through marriage vows you suddenly find is no longer a secure path.  That is when God is giving you a chance to choose, are you going to choose to start anew on your path of blessing beginning with forgiveness or are you going to continue on your own path filled with bitterness and resentment void of blessing?
   Isaac, Esau’s father, was on his path of blessing, but his son’s choices, to walk another path, caused Isaac grief.  We can’t control the path that others around us will choose to walk.  We can try to show them the way to the path of blessing, but in the end, it is their choice.  Sometimes that choice will hurt us, especially when it is someone we deeply care for.  When we are on our path of blessing, it is not always a path free of sorrow or grief.  Not everyone will choose to walk the same path we choose.

Have you experienced sadness or hurt over a relationship?  When you think about that relationship does it still hurt today?  Our deepest wounds can take the longest to heal, but if we allow Jesus to aid in that healing, the pain will subside much quicker.  Expose your wound to Him allowing the healing process to begin. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Tasha! I can so relate to this! I have both family and friends who have chosen a path away from the Lord and it truly breaks my heart. And yes, when I think of these relationships, there is still a little pain, despite the time that has gone by. I am constantly having to choose to lay aside my disappointment and forgive them.

    (Btw - I loved Charlie Brown too. My mother tells me that I loved Snoopy as a 6 month old baby and cried when the show would go off, lol!)

    Gwen from "Serving With Words" :-)