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“Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.” Psalm 31:9
Our problems and troubles are much real, and your prayer should be for the Lord to hear you and deliver you speedily, out of them all. David prayed, “Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.” (Psalm 31:4). He looked at his own life and realised that it was in a mess; with all these troubles, fears, failures, lying vanities, grief and sorrows. I listen to people and sometimes I wonder, they say exactly the opposite of the situation and of what they will be experiencing. But when you’re in the presence of God you ought not to pretend. David said, “Have mercy upon me, O Lord , for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea , my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.” Psalm 31:9-12
Hannah could not hide her emotions either. “And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.” (1 Samuel 1:14-17). Jehu also was asked, is it peace? He replied, what have you to do with peace? It is our generation alone that is taught to lie about their feelings and emotions and now we find it hard to properly pour out our souls before the Lord. Instead, what do we do? We pray amiss! C’mon folks, let your petitions/requests be made known to the Lord.
David teaches us, listen to what he says; “In thee, O Lord , do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.” (Psalm 31:1). Tell him everything if you’ve honestly put your trust in him. Beg him to lead you and to guide you out of all your troubles even when others try to stop you. Bartimæus, cried “the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:48). Have mercy upon me, O Lord , for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea , my soul and my belly.
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
Dealing with grief and loss
“Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!” Job 6:2
It is normal for people to grieve when they lose someone or something important in their lives. We react differently depending on the nature of loss, your faith, background, upbringing, etc. Whatever is your situation your grief and sorrows ought to be throughly weighed.
How does grief affect you?
Like I said above we react in different ways to loss, but often anxiety, sadness, anger and helplessness is it that comes first. It is common, and feelings like these are a natural part of the grieving process. Knowing that it’s common sometimes helps your calamities seem more normal, and it is important to know that they will pass. Some people take a lot longer than others to recover. With Job, it took him, his friends, “sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.” (Job 2:13). Some need help from others, but don’t push it too hard on them for they’ll eventually come to terms with their loss, and the intense feelings will subside but whatever the case there is instant fix. What you don’t want is vain talk. “Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do : if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief. Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased?” Job 16:1-6
How to cope with grief and loss
There are practical things you can do to get through a time of bereavement or loss:
- Express yourself. Talking is often a good way to soothe painful emotions.
“Have mercy upon me, O Lord , for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea , my soul and my belly.” Psalm 31:9
- Talking to a friend or family member can begin the healing process as was the case with Job.
Allow yourself to feel sad. It’s a healthy part of the grieving process. ‘I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.” Psalm 31:12
- Keep your routine up. Keeping up simple things like praying about it. “In thee, O Lord , do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.” (Psalm 31:1). ‘Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:4
- Eat healthy, and
avoid things that increase pain. It will make you feel worse once the numbness wears off.
- Sleep enough. “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” Psalm 31:5
Emotional strain can make you very tired. If you’re having trouble sleeping, seek advice.
Go to counselling if it feels right for you – but perhaps not straight away. Counselling may be more useful after a few weeks or months. Only you will know when you’re ready.