I don’t like the feeling of grief, but that hasn’t kept it from being a a part of my life at times.
Last night I watched the movie Inside Out, which depicts feelings as individual personalities all vying for control. Not only was I entertained, I was stirred by the profound (and positive!) effect that “Sadness” had in this little girl’s life.
Grief is best known for its role when one experiences death or devestating loss; but I have also felt grief as it accompanied my recognition and remorse of my wrongdoings.
In his letter to the church in Corinth the Apostle Paul referred to such grief – and called it “godly grief.”
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
2 Corinthians 7:10 ESV
In the same way that the Old Testament Law didn’t set people free from sin, but only made them aware of their sin and their need for a savior, godly grief alerts our souls to our waywardness and gives us pause to turn to God for forgiveness and freedom.
When the Holy Spirit is grieving over something in my life, my own spirit picks up on it and senses that same grief. When my response is repentance and humility I experience the joy of forgiveness. But if I ignore the guilt and grief I am left with a life of remorse and regret.
I still don’t like the feeling it brings, but grief has been my friend – a good friend, one that has walked me toward Jesus many times.
Father- I pray that I would never be desensitized to grief or sorrow or pain. What I have often seen as enemies may be my truest friends.