This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Lamentations 3:21
On February 14, 1884, Theodore Roosevelts wife, Alice, died giving birth to their daughter, also named Alice. Roosevelt was so distraught with the loss of his wife that he never spoke of her again. But reminders of her absence haunted the family. Because the newborn had the same name as her mother, she was called Sisternever Alice. On Valentines Day, the holiday for sweethearts, few in the Roosevelt household felt inclined to celebrate it or Sisters birthday. Broken hearts made moods strained and stoic.
Burying our feelings doesnt help, but prayerful grieving can. Jeremiahs heart was broken by Israels disobedience and the Babylonian captivity that followed. Memories of Jerusalems destruction haunted him (Lam. 12). Yet he had learned how to lament. He identified what caused him grief, began to pray, and let his tears flow. Soon his focus shifted from his loss to the steadfast grace of the Lords provision. Through the Lords mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness (3:22-23). Grief gave way to thankfulness.
Learning to lament can give us a fresh vision of hope and begin the process of healing and restoration.
I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the God of all comfort was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.
Grief is itself a medicine.