Comfort for the Grieving, Hurting, and Dying Series – Part I
Not sure why, but I woke this morning even earlier than usual and have been thinking about all the friends and family we have lost in the past few months. I thought of all I had said to try and comfort them (family and friends) and all I had written on the matter. But wait, after checking my blog I realized I had mentioned it a few times but not really written on the subject.
So over the next ____ days or weeks, I am going to attempt to write a series of posts using mainly the Psalms as text that can be used to provide comfort to those Comfort for the Grieving, Hurting, and Dying.
The very first thing that MUST BE MENTIONED is that going it alone should never be an option for anyone. I could describe horror stories of folks we have found (usually elderly or disabled) living in squaller months after disasters have struck with the neighbors oblivious. If you are in any kind of crisis or on the verge of being in one, hurting (injury), grieving a loss, or maybe found out you have a serious illness; reach out (see below) never go it alone.
We are going to begin however with verses related to what is often referred to as “The Great Physician.” There is of course no actual title like that in the Bible, however, when one pulls the multitude of references (here are a few Mark 2:15–17, Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24, Matthew 4:23, Matthew 10:1, Hebrews 4:16) it is clear that Christ is a Great Physician like nonother.
I am convinced in every situation it helps to start at the beginning. Like a good triage nurse or doctor, we need to find out the (patients) individual’s “condition.” We do this by asking some simple questions about themselves and their faith. (Note if they are unable to respond ask a family member. My wife was in the hospital last fall and the Chaplain came by saw she was asleep and just left, really 🤔.) For me as a Chaplain and a Baptist, having Christ, The Great Physician, as the foundation of one’s faith is crucial to how I approach the rest of the process.
A note, when I first began working in the field of Chaplaincy I found it interesting that the direr the situation the more receptive to the Word of God folks seem to be. I always had and still have concerns that it is a false interest, based on their circumstance. However, I am not there to judge them but to minister to them.
One of the dilemmas of providing ministerial/chaplain care is whenever the lost loved one was not a person of Faith or the family is anti-religion. Our job is to bring comfort, encouragement, and in some cases solace; we can never forget that no matter the “obstacles” we might face we are called ( at least I hope it is a calling and not just a “job”) by God to serve His creation.
I will close today with an excellent post from 2017, written by Ray Rhodes Jr: Spurgeon’s advice for suffering Christians
855-FAQ-HOSPICE (327-4677) – Hospice Hotline
1-800-662-HELP (4357) Mental Health Hotline
1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Hotline
1-800-273-8255 Veterans Crisis Hotline
1-800-985-5990 Disaster Distress Hotline