Most of us are so glad that 2020 is over. Rightly so, it was a challenging year! Turning the page to the new chapter of 2021 gives us a renewed sense of hope as we look to the future.

However, I wonder though, if some of us have rushed too quickly to the hope of tomorrow that we’ve missed the sacred space God grants us to grieve.

Grief hurts; it feels wrong. Grief feels terrible—so terrible that we want to shy away from it. Sometimes we repress grief and try to move through it too quickly, or even deny that it is there. We might fear that it is a sin to feel this way. If we believe it is sin, it follows that we should move away from this negative feeling quickly. We fear our grief may cause us to question the presence and work of God in our lives.

Our American culture doesn’t “do” grief very well. We avoid it, we don’t talk about it, and unlike many other cultures in the world, we don’t have a concept of what a healthy grief looks like.

The bible devotes the entire book of Lamentations to the expression of grief. The Psalms are chocked full of the cries of grief. Job grieved. Jesus grieved. God grieves.

Grief, though painful, is a gift God gives us to express sorrow over what was lost and receive healing. Grief gives voice to what we loved and valued. Grief protects us from developing a hardened heart.

I certainly am not sharing this to bring you down! I share this to give you permission to grieve what you lost in 2020. I believe the Lord grieves over all that was lost in 2020. It is ok to say, “XYZ happened, and it was painful.” God can handle all of our expressions of grief.

Grief for those of us who are in Christ, is transitory: it has an end. Grief is temporary. And like the Lord Jesus, even in grief we do not lose hope in God. Our Lord Jesus did not grieve as one without hope, and neither do we. Hope in God’s redemption and ultimate victory allows us to grieve well. Good grief is faith in action that provides us with needed healing

What did you loose in 2020? Have you grieved those losses? How are you finding hope and healing?