COLUMN: Why good grief is good
One of our joys as a family this time of year is watching the Charlie Brown Specials. We watched as Linus believed in the Great Pumpkin and we’re already talking about watching the Christmas …
COLUMN: Why good grief is good
One of our joys as a family this time of year is watching the Charlie Brown Specials. We watched as Linus believed in the Great Pumpkin and we’re already talking about watching the Christmas Special.
But have you ever noticed that the Peanuts gang always seems to have a crisis of faith? Poor Linus is harassed for believing in the Great Pumpkin and Charlie Brown is chastised as he pursues a deeper meaning for what Christmas had become to everyone else. I would say that Charles Shulz was fond of placing a dark night of the soul into his storylines.
A Dark Night of the Soul is often connected with times of pain and grief, but it is really about times of transition in gaining a greater meaning in life. Just like Linus and Charlie, I think we all have moments, regularly, that we question the meaning of things, and we question what the point of doing something is. It could be a friendship. It could be a job. It could be a belief. As these storms in life come, we eventually follow it to the big question of where is God and what is He doing?
The disciples were regularly finding themselves in this space. In Mark 4 they are being tossed in a storm. How many ways do you think they were questioning where life had led them as they believed they were going to die. Eventually they asked about where Jesus was and what He was doing. Sleeping! Jesus wakes up from a nap and calms the storm for them. Another time they were caught in another storm.
Eventually they look out and see Jesus walking on the water to them. At some point Peter realizes it is safer to be with Jesus in the storm than it is to be in the boat with the other disciples. These storms share some insight into how we should handle our dark nights. Peter questioned a natural belief, that it’s safer in the boat, and found a deeper meaning of safety in Jesus.
Are you going through a dark night of the soul? First, seasons where we question everything will always come. Beating yourself up about having doubts is a waste of time and energy. These are normal parts of our faith journey. Because, secondly, Jesus can always be found in the storm. That’s why storms are so comforting for those that believe in Him. Look for Jesus in the storm.
Finally, walk with Jesus as He begins to unravel all of the immature and/or false meanings that the world teaches us.
The dark night is about letting go of a belief that was never going to satisfy you. If you seek Jesus in the storm you’ll come out on the other side with greater clarity than ever before.
I imagine Peter never thought of Jesus the same again after that. I guess I stand with Charlie Brown… there really is such a thing as good grief if it’s entrusted to Jesus.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here