Monday, July 14, 2008
When Faced with Sorrow
by Norman Vincent Peale
The most shattering experience that can happen to the human spirit is the death of a loved one. No words, no action, can deaden the overwhelming pain of bereavement. But there are practical means with which it can be faced and lived through with strength and fortitude.
1. See the goodness. Nothing that God ever ordained is bad. Therefore, though it is painful, God’s goodness is nevertheless to be found in sorrow. His goodness is given to your loved one who has gone and it is given to you who remain.
2. Don’t stop living. For your own normal readjustment, continue your normal activities as much as you can. Do not avoid places that you associate with your loved one. Continue living as before. In due course, the knowledge that your loved one would want it that way will comfort you.
3. Don’t view death as loss. Never say, I have lost my wife, my husband, my child, my brother or sister. Remember the words of this poet, “Love can never lose its own.” Your loved one is merely living in another dimension. He or she is never far away. You have not lost your loved one.
4. Think of where your loved one now lives. Your loved one is in our Father’s house of many mansions and is surrounded by love and beauty, and is well and strong and happy. Tell yourself that he or she is all right and content.
5. Find comfort in the promise of a reunion. Remember the old hymn, “In the sweet bye-andbye, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.” Hold onto that as fact. God, who made it possible to meet here, also makes it possible for us to meet over there.
6. Ease others’ grief. Perhaps the best way to heal your own sorrow is to help someone heal theirs. When you give sympathy and love, they come back to you doubled. Make a list of all the sad people you know and try to bring comfort to them. By so doing, you will find amazing comfort and healing for yourself.
7. Express yourself. When sorrow comes, give normal expression to your grief. Do not bottle it up and hold it in. God made tears for a purpose; and that was to relieve us. A tear is agony in solution. Don’t be ashamed of your grief or try to repress it. Cry it out and pray it out. Peace will eventually come.
8. Rely on your faith. Perhaps the greatest healing of sorrow is to be found in your faith. Repeat some of the great words of Jesus Christ. He understands your sorrow. Use comforting Scripture verses such as: “. . . I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25,26).
The greatest healing of sorrow is to be found in your faith.
Excerpted from Help Yourself With God’s Help by Norman Vincent Peale. Copyright © Peale Center for Christian Living.