Updated: Apr 5, 2020
Grief can be overwhelming and at times we can feel like we are drowning in it, especially in this holiday season. We certainly can’t push the pause button on our grief and no matter how hard we try, we can’t escape the holidays. What in the world are we to do? There is a story in the Bible that has given me much encouragement and hope in my seasons of grief. It’s the story of Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, walking on the water in the midst of a storm. (You can read the whole story in Matthew 14.) At Jesus’ invitation in the middle of a terrible storm, Peter steps out of the boat and is actually able to walk on the water. He does just fine until the winds and waves are too much and cause him to take his eyes off Jesus. At that point, Peter begins to sink into the storm waters and in danger of drowning. In desperation, he cries out to Jesus Who reaches out His hand and grabs hold of Peter and pulls him up to walk on the water with Him again. I probably don’t have to say another word. Those of you who have ever grieved or are in the midst of grieving get it! Grief is exactly like a horrible storm in our lives and, whether we want to or not, we are forced to ride it out. Surprisingly at times, we are able to “walk on the water” so to speak in the middle of that storm. But we are also very well aware of our grief being relentless in coming against us and we can easily find ourselves sinking in it. The holidays are notorious for bringing so many potential triggers and it doesn’t take much before we are drowning in all the reminders of what we no longer have. This is where the story of Peter gives us so much encouragement and hope as we prepare to walk through the holiday season. Trust me. It’s not IF, but WHEN, grief is going to overtake you. So why not go ahead and come up with your battle plan now. First, be determined and practice keeping your eyes and your mind focused on the One Who is with you in the storm. Remind yourself of Who He is and all that He is to you, especially in your time of grief. Second, remind yourself that you are human and grief is tough. We all have days and times where we just can’t do it. No matter how hard we try, the pain and the grief overwhelm us and we find ourselves sinking, even drowning in it which brings me to my third point. These are the times we simply need to cry out to Jesus. He’s right there with you in the grief ready to reach down and help pull you back up and set you on your feet again. And you can be assured He will pull you up again and again and again until you are able to get back on your feet again. So with the holidays, remember you are not alone and you don’t have to try to white knuckle your way through. You definitely can’t save yourself when you are drowning! Why not let the One Who is able do it with you and even for you this holiday season.