Daily devotional (repost): Making Room For Grief

1 Samuel 16:1-13. I have always focused on David’s call to be king in this passage before, but now I’m struck by God’s words to Samuel — “How long will you grieve for Saul…?” Even thesaints of old grieve! God recognizes Samuel needed to grieve. Sometimes we feel like grief is something we need to push through. I remember hearing a coach say to me as a kid, “suck it up”, and a relative tell me “big boys don’t cry”. Yet God seems to recognize Samuel needs to sit with and face his grief some. Samuel can’t just ignore the pain, nor just shut out the tears. Eventually, God sees that grief patternit is time for Saul to return to his work again as prophet active in the world, but it sounds like God recognizes a part of that work of prophet is to grieve. All the great prophets from Jeremiah to Jonah, from Micah to Moses, even to the One we call not just prophet but Word made flesh, our dear Jesus, grieved. They each wept salty tears of pain and loss. I need that reminder: to not forget grieving loss is a part of my task as a person of faith, and that also (like Samuel) it is only a part of my task. I must both make room to grieve and make room to be busy and active with God’s work in God’s world. How do you handle that balance in your times of loss or pain?

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