Grief & suffering come in many forms at different stages of life. We are commanded to pray for those in need (Phil. 2:3-4), assist people with things they cannot provide for themselves (Deut. 15:11), & bear one anothers burdens (Gal. 6:2) as they are challenged with loss of every kind. Ron & Don Williams in their book Walking With Those Who Weep, A Guide To Grief Support, points us to Scripture as we support those who suffer:
1. Be real! Jesus Christ provides the model response to grief & suffering for Christians. John 11:35 says Jesus wept. Verse 33 tells us Jesus groaned in the spirit and was troubled. If grieving people see Christians as real & genuine people, they will feel far more comfortable within their presence.
2. Be quiet! We see in John 11:21-32, Martha & Mary seem to rebuke the Lord for not being present to prevent their brother from dying. We do not see Jesus providing some theological answer to their statements. Jesus was quiet. During a time of sorrow, our presence, not our words will be most appreciated.
3. Be supportive! John 11:31-34 shows us Jesus & “the Jews” coming to show their love & support for the two sisters. We should comfort those who are grieving with a heart of understanding & not out of duty. We must display support & love!
4. Be available! John 12:1-2 indicates Jesus visited Bethany again & spent time with the family. Jesus wanted them to know He was there for them. We should send the message, “I love you & I am here for you.”
Walking with those who weep requires concern, support, & selflessness.