“3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
In 1960, acclaimed lay theologian C.S. Lewis lost one of the greatest treasures in his life. His wife.
Following a dramatic fight with cancer, she had finally met Christ and in grief, Lewis turned to his writings to comfort himself. We find the laments of Lewis in his book, A Grief Observed, and we see an honest reflection of his own faith and questionings on whether or not he could still deem God good.
This is surprising coming from a man of such Christian acclaim, but shows the reality of grief’s deafening grip. Lewis never renounced his faith, but it surely was tried by the loss of his soul mate.
In reading his work, one may be reminded of the lament of Job, who lost everything dear to him and was encouraged to “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). This was an even more frightening task for the man of God, Job, considering he still had to endure 40 more chapters of grief.
In these times, we ask how God can be who He claims to be, often in this case, comforting (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). But still yet, on the other side, one may notice just how great God is to sustain us in our pain. How the “The death of a beloved is an amputation” (C.S. Lewis). But the love of God is a restoration.
Grief hurts. But grief brings growth. C.S. Lewis describes grief as good challenge to thought. He states, “My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself.”
In tribulations, we grow, even though it feels as if we are shattered (Romans 5:3-5). When we are weak, God is strong. Grief is a natural part of life and God is a supernatural healer.
Be blessed my friend. You are loved.