“For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:10
There are two things that happen when we experience grief. The main thing is an experience of loss. We are grieving what is gone, lost, or removed. It creates a feeling of absence.
We spend a lot of time trying to avoid grief. It hurts. It is hard. Grief is the process by which we wrestle with our losses. And it is so hard, it hurts so much, that we often try to side step it. We wash over it. We bury it deep.
But grief has a dichotomous nature. The pain is the reminder of what we do not have. But the hope is in a renewed appreciation of what remains. Grief binds us to the ones who grieve alongside us. It forces us to confront our lack of control and understanding, which is an opportunity to be drawn closer to God.
The perspective of “the world” says that we are in for one long line of losses. It tells us to fight the losses, to avoid them. Because the world melts away with each loss.
But the Kingdom of God does not melt away. There is a hope that leads to salvation; salvation from despair. That hope is in The One who is master of life and death, temporal and eternal, grief and joy. Grief is an opportunity to trust in him.