It’s my Granny’s funeral tomorrow and I’m feeling pretty anxious about it. The death of a loved one is difficult and I suspect that the funeral will bring that loss into even sharper focus. Plus, I’m concerned for my family members – they too will be coping with grief and I hope to somehow be a good support to them. I’ve been thinking about how to approach those feelings from a Christian perspective.
I was wondering if my stress is a sign that I don’t trust Jesus that even tomorrow’s events are under his sovereignty. Yet, I’m not sure that trusting Jesus necessarily equates with a lack of stress. I was reading about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Mark 14 talks about Jesus being deeply distressed and troubled (v.33). Luke talks of anguish (22:44). I suspect that in the light of Jesus’ prayer about God taking the cup from him, at least part of his ‘sorrow’ is directed into the future. My point is this: we know that Jesus trusted his Father fully, and yet, his sweat was like drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Jesus knew stress.
And that makes sense doesn’t it? Jesus knew what was to come and that it wasn’t going to be pleasant. To ignore that would be to deny the reality of this world. Part of living in a fallen world is mourning over it – and disliking the experience and anticipation of it. I’m sure I have heaps more to learn about trusting God, but that lesson is not to be found in naive escapism or denial of pain, but in trusting that the God I serve is also a man of sorrows.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.