A Prayer for the Grieving Heart This Holiday
By Alicia Searl
“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
As beautiful as this season is, there is also this emptiness and uncomfortable sadness that, no matter how hard I try to push down, keeps bubbling back up to the surface. It happens at the oddest of times, bringing on a sting of tears and a rush of heat throughout my body, making me want to hide or scream at the top of my lungs.
Reminders of her are everywhere. Everywhere I turn, I see her. I hate it and love it at the same time. It sometimes brings on glimmers of hope and a sense of peace, then other times, it stirs within me a concoction of emotions that don’t make any sense. This Christmas, as we gather around the table, we will take notice of that empty seat and try to put on a brave face. We will share stories and try to enjoy our time together, but the void will cause us to slip into different pockets of grief.
This is the first Christmas without my mom. The first Christmas when her beautiful smile and contagious laughter won’t fill the room. The first Christmas where we won’t hear that gentle knock on the back door only to find her juggling dishes of yummy goodness. The first Christmas, where she won’t be dragging in piles of gifts to place under the tree. The first Christmas, she won’t be crying during the candlelight Christmas Eve service, saying just how beautiful it is.
This Christmas will be different and difficult. Maybe you find yourself in a different and difficult Christmas season as well.
Oh, how I wish I had the right words to comfort you. If I could, I would meet you up for a cup of coffee, offer you a warm hug and tell you just how very sorry I am that you are carrying this weight too. Because I know how lonely grief can be.
But, where my words and actions are fallible and will fall short, God’s Word is perfect and always brings us hope. The verse above has given me so much comfort the past few weeks that I offer it to you. 2 Corinthians 1:3 gives us the opportunity to praise God even in our pain because He is the One Who comforts us in our times of trouble and need.
It’s so encouraging to know that we serve a God of compassion, A God that meets us where we are and extends His love and mercy in the midst of our suffering and grief. Just knowing that He sees us and that we are never forgotten should give us a sense of peace.
Going further into that verse, 2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us that God can and will use our pain and suffering for His will. Knowing that the heart of God is pure love, He extends that gift of compassion and love to us, and in time, as healing comes, He makes a way to be moved by the Holy Spirit to share that love with others. Love. It is what heals us as we receive and give it.
If you find yourself just managing to put one foot in front of the other this Christmas, remind your wounded heart of this simple truth – as believers, we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). In this broken world, we will “see” devastation all around us in the form of death, loss, suffering, war, and sin. Yet, Christ tells us in John 16:33 that while we will encounter troubles in this life, we should take heart because He has overcome the world! God’s love heals and saves us from the sins of this world.
If you are carrying the heavy weight of grief this holiday, will you lay it at Jesus’ feet today? Let Him comfort you in the way that only He can. Let Him love on You. Open your heart to His love for You today, and let it prompt You to share your heart with others in due time. God’s love and healing – What a lovely gift to unwrap this Christmas!
You are such a loving and compassionate God, and we are thankful that You see us in the midst of our sorrow and grief. Please draw close as we go into this holiday season and be ever present with us as we seek to find peace and joy in this holy and beautiful time of year. Lord, I invite You into the pain of our weary hearts. As memories resurface, bending and swaying us, leading way to tears or longing for solitude, meet us in that need. Grant us strength to embrace Your compassion and love in our deepest sorrows and remind us of Your precious promise to be reunited with our loved ones again.
You are a good Father, and we know that You have a plan and purpose for our lives. Use our story to touch the hearts of others in Your will and time. We ask all these things in Your Precious name. Amen.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Kerkez
Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
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