A sinful woman entered the home of a Pharisee to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. Her story shows that Jesus is truly comfortable with our emotions. He accepted her public and lavish response to his love and mercy, even rebuking the man who objected to her rather shocking display.
Mourning and grieving after loss is an emotionally draining experience. Grief and guilt mix in confusing ways. We may experience anger, shame, deep sorrow, even a disturbingly numb response. And we seldom feel safe sharing those feelings with others. It’s comforting to know that Jesus understands the strongest emotions we experience as we pour out our heartbreak and pain. He comforts us as no one else can (see 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Sometimes when we express our deepest feelings to a friend, they feel uncomfortable and can offer no comfort. This can leave us feeling embarrassed, which only adds to our distress over our loss.
Learning to trust Jesus with our very deepest emotions before sharing them with others is a healthy outlet. A daily time of devotion—listening to him as we read the Word and sharing our cares and concerns with him in prayer—strengthens us emotionally. Many people find that writing about their experiences helps ease the emotional sting. Journaling our prayers is one way to work through our grief.
Putting structure on the way we process our deepest emotions in the aftermath of a painful loss helps us learn to “live by faith,” as the Bible puts it in 2 Corinthians 5:7, rather than running from faith to one emotional crisis after another, or sinking from faith to depression and despair. As we gain emotional stability, we can then offer comfort to others by sharing “the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Direct your very deepest emotions to the One who gave his life for you and, as God’s Word promises, you will not only receive comforting rest from intense emotions, but you will become a comforting presence to others as well.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3–4
Jesus, hear my cry! Help me when I feel overwhelmed. Hold me when my emotions break over me in waves like a stormy sea. Calm me and make me like a contented child leaning on your chest. Thank you for never regarding me as too needy. Lord, comfort me so that I can be a comfort to others. Amen
Devotional by Sharron Carrns found in the NIV Hope in the Mourning eBible.