Missionaries to foreign countries and pastors who are called to a different cultural situation in the United States often must deal with the grief that comes with the dramatic change. This change is known as “culture shock.”
It’s not strange that men and women on their way to serve a sentence in prison are often overwhelmed at the thought, let alone the actual experience. You might find it strange that after serving a prison sentence, the return to what is left of “home” is a more severe shock.
Two of the lessons we must learn in an upwardly mobile life is that change is necessary for career and personal growth and this growth often is a shocking experience. We can also learn that the Lord is with us through this time of tormenting change.
The death trap within this experience is the habit of grievingly looking back. The text book 101 case is Lot’s wife. Mrs. Lot had a career in Sodom as the wife of a prestigious leader in the civic affairs. God, in His wisdom, called the family to a time of struggle to be sure, but a change that harbored the opportunity for tremendous personal growth and the enjoyment of the wonder of the new experience. Mrs. Lot turned into a permanent pillar of salt. No progress, just standing in the same place to this very day, with no hope. Looking back on that which is irrevocably past is not the path to progress. In fairness to Mrs. Lot, Mr. Lot also became overwhelmed by the experience. His end may have been worse than that of his wife.
Lot and his family were forced by events to move on. The “Place” to which they were going was neutral, what it held for them, misery or a vibrant life, was up to them. Mrs. Lot, by looking back, lost it all. Lot, due to his less than ideal spiritual life prior to the loss, looked only around what he saw as the world, a very small perspective, and failing to see the hand of God in the future, wallowed in misery for the duration of his earthly walk.
Leaving one place and going to another, losing close friends, a spouse or a child is horrendous emotionally. In the book, Tear Soup, Pat Schweibert wrote:
“When one person is missing the whole world seems empty.”
The same is true concerning the loss of place or the things of life that were enjoyable.
If your world seems empty, when your heart seems to break due to the empty spot where someone you loved dearly once was, you are not alone with that feeling. It’s more prevalent than you think. And Jesus cares. Always recall, Jesus, while at the tomb of Lazarus, wept!
Copyright © 2016 Larry Lilly
No grief IT Work. Oral Deckard
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