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  • Writer's pictureGuy Gourley

The Fire of Sorrow

The Fire of Sorrow

The Fire of Sorrows: Navigating Grief and Loss

Oswald Chambers says, “My attitude as a saint to sorrow and difficulty is not to ask that they may be prevented, but to ask that I may preserve the self-God created me to be through every fire of sorrow. Our Lord received himself in the fire of sorrow. He was saved not from the hour but out of the hour.

I recently had a friend and pastor pass away after a long battle with cancer. He was an amazing man who loved Jesus with all his heart. He preached and loved until the very end. I never heard any complaints of pain or suffering, but only how he could glorify Jesus with his life. He was not angry with God. He was drawn near to Jesus more and more each day.

Grief and loss are a normal part of the human experience, and one day, all will spend time in eternity, whether in the light or the dark. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job, or a dream, the pain of sorrow can feel overwhelming and all-consuming. We’ll explore and offer wisdom for navigating the difficult journey of grief and loss.

The fire of sorrows is a metaphor describing the intense pain and burning sensation accompanying grief and loss. It's a metaphor that acknowledges the depth and intensity of the emotions we experience when faced with loss. But it's also a metaphor suggesting that this pain can be transformative and lead to growth and healing if we allow it to.

So how do we navigate the fire of sorrows? Here are some tips:

1. Ask for Courage: It's natural to want to avoid or suppress painful emotions, but this can make the pain worse in the long run. Avoiding it can lead to foolishness and a desire to seek relief outside God’s design. If you do, you could sabotage the very thing you want, peace and comfort during suffering. Instead, allow yourself to feel the full range of emotions that come with grief and loss. Cry, scream, journal, or talk to a trusted friend or therapist. Whatever you do, don't bottle up your emotions.

2. Ask: What Really Matters?: It is easy to live on auto-pilot when things are going well. We often don’t give much thought to life, growth, or change during pain and suffering. But this pain can be transformative and helps you see life and your choices in a different light. What was important to you on auto-pilot now seems shallow, and it focuses your attention on Jesus, people, and relationships that matter. As you seek him in your raw emotions, He will meet you there.

3. Ask For Wisdom. Redemption often means learning the wisdom lessons from suffering and using them for good. When you are hurting, most people go to those who have suffered and have come out on the other side. There is an intuitive understanding and connection you have with someone who has gone through a similar experience.

4. Ask For Meaning: While it may seem impossible to find meaning amid grief and loss, it can be a powerful tool for healing. Try to find ways to honor the memory of your loved one or to use your experience to help others who are going through similar struggles.

5. Find Healthy: Grief and loss can take a physical toll on your body, mind, and emotions. Take care of yourself by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and comfort.

6. Find Support: Don't try to go through the fire of sorrows alone. Seek support from friends, family, or a professional therapist. Join a grief support group or online community where you can connect with others who are going through similar experiences.

7. Find Time: Healing from grief and loss takes time. Don't rush the process or pressure yourself to "get over it" quickly. Allow yourself to move through the fire of sorrows at your own pace, and trust that healing will come in its own time.

The fire of sorrows is a powerful metaphor for the pain of grief and loss. But it's also a metaphor suggesting that this pain can be transformative and lead to growth and healing if we allow it to. By allowing ourselves to feel, practicing self-care, seeking support, drawing close in your relationship with Jesus Christ, finding meaning, and giving ourselves time, we can navigate the difficult journey of grief and loss and emerge transformed on the other side.

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