Shifting Perspectives of Gratitude and Grief

[fa icon="calendar"] November 23, 2018 / by District Office

hand reaching out over beautiful landscapeIn the aftermath of the Camp Fire, it’s easy to have shifting perspectives of both gratitude and grief. Some of us are grateful just to be alive while others are mourning the loss of loved ones. Some have gratitude their home was spared, while neighbor’s homes next door or across the street were lost. We all have gratitude for how the communities have come together to shelter and support evacuees, but we grieve for the loss of a city, of people’s livelihood, that life will never be quite the same for anyone who has lived through and been impacted by the events of the Camp Fire.

The excerpt below from the ministry of Ravi Zacharias is a great word of reminder in the aftermath of the Camp Fire:

How quickly our perspectives changed. Just as our view of the landscape looked differently as we made our way along the trail, so too changed our perspective of our precarious place in the world and the brevity of life. Despite the serene beauty around us, our perspective shifted to dark and deadly forces not two hours away from where we stood. Gratitude gave way to grief over what was lost.

For some, the world is obstructed from view because of dense, tree-lined forests. Others sit on top of the world viewing the expansive views of grandeur from an unobstructed ridgeline. Context dictates the way in which one sees the world even as a global media presents multiple and shifting perspectives in which one is asked to stand. More poignant is the thought that grief and gratitude co-mingle every moment of life, lifting us to the highest heights and bringing us to the lowest lows of human existence.

Consequently, theologian Karl Barth once exhorted Christians to hold the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other...

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Pastor Josh Gallagher of Paradise Alliance Church recently talked about the season of grief we’re all experiencing in some way. Since there is not a time frame for grief, we should be patient and not rush through it. In other words, grieve well now or grieve badly later. Josh continued by saying we need to embrace hope because God is working, and there will be joy after, and even in the midst of the grief and the tears.

It’s important to remember that God is the God of AND - we can be sad and happy, be angry and love, have questions and faith, fear and trust, cry and smile. This is exactly where so many of us are at right now and it is okay to have both.

Topics: Equipping