Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

05 October 2012

A Grief Sanctified # 4

To what exercises of mind and heart (attitudes and actions) should the bereavement experience lead us?  Said the Puritans characteristically, these three:

1.  The exercise of thanksgiving for all that we valued and enjoyed in the person we have lost and, in the case of a believer, for the happiness to which we know he or she has now been promoted.

2.  The exercise of submission to God, as we resign to him the loved one he has taken from us, confess to him that we had no claim on the continuance of that loved one's earthly life, and consciously put ourselves in his hands for whatever future experiences he has in mind for us.

3.  The exercise of patience, which is a compound of endurance and hope, as we live through our bereavement on a daily basis.

Richard [Baxter], in his sadness at losing Margaret, transparently models all three in the Breviate.  Lewis, mourning the loss of Joy, does the same in A Grief Observed.

From the section "The Sanctifying of Grief" from A Grief Sanctified by JI Packer, pages 188-189.

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