One of the toughest aspects of grief is waiting. Waiting to feel relief. Waiting to feel better. Waiting for your broken heart to mend. Waiting to feel any sense of normalcy again.
Grief, in my opinion, is not just the death of a loved one. I think losing a loved one is definitely the greatest grief someone can go through for sure. But to me, grief is losing anyone or anything that meant the world to you….it is any situation that knocks the breath out of you. Any circumstance that causes your life to stop…and causes you to have to “wait.”
In the Bible, we are told to “wait on the Lord” several times.
I always assumed that “waiting on the Lord” meant being still. Almost doing nothing except for trusting God.
Then my thoughts dramatically changed…
At a grief group I lead, a few of us got on the topic of waiting on God…it was an excellent conversation that was very thought provoking.
What if waiting on God meant…literally waiting on God?
Allow me to explain…
The definition for waiting (on dictionary.com) is:
1. a period of waiting; pause, interval, or delay.
2. serving or being in attendance: waiting man; waiting maid; waiting woman.
3. in waiting, in attendance, as upon a royal personage.
Imagine you are a server and God came into your royal restaurant…He is your only table.
Would any of us truly be focused on anything that is outside of that royal restaurant?…Would we focus on what our family and friends are doing at the moment? Our finances or bills? Our grief or heartache? Any part of our future that we usually worry about?…Absolutely not. We’d be completely in awe of God. We’d want to fully serve Him, meet His needs, and please Him as we waited on Him.
Many times during grief, we have 100 things going through our minds all at once. It is very difficult to stay focused when you are in deep grief. This can cause worry, anxiety, depression, anger, and all the other negative emotions that grief brings to the surface.
It’s frustrating to want things to get better…yet not be in control…and having to wait on grief.
What if we switched our focus from waiting on grief to waiting on God?
A good definition of waiting on God: expecting something truly special or good
If we are truly waiting on God, we do not have to wait impatiently or grudgingly. We can wait actively, expectantly, and fully confident in the work He is going to achieve through us, our grief, and in every circumstance we are facing.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Grief, and bad experiences in life, can definitely make you feel weak…weary…and faint. Grief and loss affect every part of your life, all of your relationships, and can be very consuming.
In the initial first days of grief, it is with you in the morning, throughout the day, and all evening. It can keep you awake at night…and if you are lucky enough to get a good night’s sleep, it is there when you wake up in the morning. Within seconds, grief floods your heart and mind all over again.
Relief does eventually come, but waiting can be very difficult in the first weeks and months after grief.
I encourage anyone who is going through grief to focus solely on God for at least an entire month. Wait on Him. Serve Him. Find out what pleases Him and wait on Him to do something truly special in His timeframe. Try not to focus on anything that is “outside” of the “royal restaurant” as you wait on Him at His table. Simply wait on Him, do your God-given responsibilities as best as you can, and allow Him full access to your heart.
What if you’re mad at God? What if you don’t want to talk to Him, let alone wait on Him?
I know of many people who are initially angry with God for their loss(es) or life circumstances. I used to be very angry with God. I was very upset that my dad was killed and I was angry with the man who killed him, especially after I saw how much my dad’s death hurt my mother and our family. I was mad when my favorite grandmother died due to a negligent doctor…and I was incredibly hurt and upset when my boyfriend died a few days after Christmas. I also was extremely frustrated after my sister died on Thanksgiving Day and left behind young children who will never remember or realize how awesome and incredible their mother truly was.
It is very common to be angry…and being angry is okay for a season! When people lose someone or something they love and cherish, they’re going to feel many many emotions. It takes time to work through all of the emotions and thoughts that flood you after grief knocks your breath out of you.
Pour your heart out to God…tell Him EXACTLY how you feel, what all you are going through, and share what all is in your heart and on your mind…He already knows what you are feeling and thinking so be honest with Him. If you are mad, tell Him…if your heart is broken, tell Him, if you are bitter, tell Him…nothing is going to shock Him. Next, after you have an open and honest talk with Him, ask Him to heal your broken heart and to help you to put the pieces of your broken life back together. Tell Him you are completely giving Him your grief journey and you are trusting Him to lead you through it….tell Him you are trusting Him to do something truly special and good in your life since you are now entrusting your grief experience to Him.
Actively and literally “wait on the Lord,” while fully seeking His heart, and see what He decides to do.
Lamentations 3:25, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Psalm 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.”
1 Kings 2:3, “Honor the laws of the Eternal your God, and live by His truth. Be faithful to His laws, commands, judgments, and precepts—the ones written for us in the instructions of Moses. If you follow this path, you will be successful in everything you do no matter where you are..”