When eagles build their nest: First they place thorns, jagged rocks and other sharp objects. Then they cushion that with a thick layer of feathers, fur and wool. It is very comfortable for her chicks. After a while, when her chicks have grown, she knows they will be happy to just sit around all day letting “mama” do all the flying and feeding. This is not healthy for her chicks, so she uses her strong talons to stir up the nest. Bringing to the surface all the glass, rocks and other sharp objects, thus making the chicks miserable, which in turn makes them leave the nest, learning to fly and hunt on their own.
God never wants you to fall, but He does want you to move!
Deut. 32:9-12 "For the LORD'S portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance. "He found him in a desert land, And in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. "Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions. "The LORD alone guided him, And there was no foreign god with him.
Whenever we are dealing with grief, it is always a new path. Each circumstance is individual and different from any other grief we have been through. That makes it potentially either a very dangerous time, or an opportunity for growth like no other. As we finish our look at the process of going through grief let me review:
· A. Live what you know – this is how you get past the initial shock of the emotions. How do we do that?
§ 1. Refuse to move to emotionalism; i.e. living based on what you feel, instead of based what you know.
§ 2. Mental understanding of life – it includes difficult times.
Do not allow your mind to believe in living in “the Bubble”! No one escapes life! In this fallen world everyone will experience difficult and heart breaking times.
· B. Meditate on Who God is. This is where you deal with trust. Who is God? Can you trust Him? What has He done to redeem you?
§ 1. Focus on the bridge of hope. This is the bridge from the brain to the heart.
§ 2. Focus on the fact that you are not alone.
The last point is when we take all the knowledge we have, and the invested time we spent pondering Who our God is, and now put that into action. With the mind we “know”, however knowledge without direction is not worth much. The drive of our life is the heart. The passion and zeal that fuels our actions; that is why it is so important to make sure what you know first, because once the heart gets in the driver’s seat, it becomes very hard to stop or change direction. The heart will be controlled either by what we “know” or what we “feel”. So called “blind love” is exactly that…based on emotions, it is blind to the realities that are in front of it. This is why we know folks that pursued a partner, that everyone knew was terrible for them, yet in spite of the evidence in front of them, i.e. violent nature, flirtatious nature, terrible with money, substance dependant, different god, etc. they insisted on the relationship and now have deep regret. Real love begins with what we know and that guides the emotions our heart expresses. Here is our third step in this path:
C. Connect the Heart and the Brain
· 1. Realize the reality of eternity: Be quiet and allow God to let you sense what is true inside. Whatever the circumstance in this world, it is only temporary. The first funeral I did was my mother; she went to be with the Lord at 49, I was 20. Though grief stricken, it was not overwhelming because I knew she was safe and I would see her again!
Job 19:25-27 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
1 Thess. 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope.
· 2. Realize God’s plan for growth – God stirring the nest.
Job 23:10-12 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
Romans 5:3–5 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
· 3. Be still long enough to see God
Job 42:1–6 Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
Job cried out, he thought he knew God, but he had only heard of Him. Now, after spending time and listening to God, God revealed Himself. When Job experienced Who God is, seeing himself in that light brought him to the reality of who he is and Who God is. In that light, not only was he filled with repentance, but also consider how he now understands Who is working in his life! As Job stated:
“I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.”
We know from Scripture that God honored Job and restored all to him. Would I want this lesson – NO! Would I desire Job’s fruit – YES Sorry, they come together…every victory begins with a battle! There is no maturity pill, that comes from God working in our life and all that encompasses, good and bad!
Meditation questions: How are you handling grief in your life? Do you see that not only do your emotions need to process the circumstance, so does your spirit? During a difficult time that causes grief what do you see? Who do you see? Do you view it only as a chance to fall, or also a chance to grow? The last time you went through grief, what did you learn and experience from God?