On February 18th, 2018, my whole world changed. My hero dad closed his eyes to this world and opened them to heaven.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “I didn’t know grief would feel so much like fear.” I had no idea grief felt so much like fatigue either. I didn’t know it would make me feel hollow. My brain knew what death was, but my heart was unaware that death was such a tearing—and an emptying.
Even after a few months, I was still stupefied by the fog I was walking through. It just felt thick and like life was in slow motion.
You may know what I’m describing. You may have felt it because of the loss of someone you deeply love. Notice, I did not say “loved.” I say “love” because that emotion does not change just because they’re not here. Some of you may have lost a child, a heartbreak almost unbearable and unimaginable.
No matter what your loss or heartbreak, it all matters because you matter—and God’s comfort is for you.
For a long time, I’ve known the truth about God’s comfort in grief, but I now understand it.
You see, if there was anything I feared—I mean was really afraid of—it was losing my dad. He was my hero. He grounded me, protected me, and made my world make sense. The thought of losing him made me fear how I could ever feel like planet earth would ever—could ever—be okay again.
I feared I would fall under the weight of grief. I feared I could never feel comfort greater than my sorrow. I feared that Dad’s absence in my life would be a hole I would fall into and never find a way out of.
Yet, I realize now that if I had really understood the comfort God would give me, I would have had no fear.
Here’s what I want you to know today: God’s comfort doesn’t erase my grief. It absorbs it. His comfort doesn’t lessen my sorrow, but it makes my capacity to face it greater. God’s comfort helps me walk through grief and sorrow.
2 Ways God Comforts You When Your Heart Is Broken
1. God’s Word Comforts You
The promises in Scripture, the counsel of Scripture, and the unchanging truth of Scripture can bring you deep comfort. Take, for example, these verses from Psalm 119:
- “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life” (Psalm 119:50).
- “Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant” (Psalm 119:76).
- “My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your Word” (Psalm 119:28).
- “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction” (Psalm 119:92).
Friend, you just won’t make it without His Word. The promises that come from God’s living Word can comfort you and provide you with the hope that life is and will be good again. His Word echoes His love to you in even your lowest season. And this love lifts you and assures you and reminds you that He is with you.
So, if you are grieving, open His Word and open your heart. His love and strength will rush in and be the comfort you need.
2. God’s People Comfort Us
God’s people don’t need to carry pom-poms or give pep talks. They don’t bring comfort by the words they say about grief, but by their very presence in your grief. The word “comfort” comes from two Latin words meaning “with” and “strong.” In other words, you and I are made strong through being with each other.
There is strength in numbers because when others join you in your grief, you become stronger. You have the strength to face your sorrow because you don’t face it alone. You have the strength to carry your burden because you don’t carry it alone.
God uses His people to take all the weak and broken pieces of our sorrow and build us up into a fortress of strength once again. He uses His people as His comforting presence. We weren’t designed to do this life alone. We need each other.
That means, when you receive comfort from God, you have something to give to others. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says, “We can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” So, if you’ve received it, give it.
If you need comfort today, receive it from God Himself, His Word, and His people. And, remember, no matter what you face or how you feel, you will be okay. Because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
This post originally appeared on JenniferRothschild.com and was republished with permission.
Jennifer Rothschild has written 14 books, including the bestseller Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Me, Myself, and Lies. She’s been featured on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. Jennifer became blind at age 15 and now helps others live beyond limits.