September 11, 2001, will be a date forever etched in the memory of people around the world, as we watched in horror as the acts of terrorism were played out before us on television, like a horror movie.

For thousands of others, that day changed their lives forever, because some relative, some loved one, died in that tragedy. Since that day, acts of retribution and war have destroyed thousands more. Still others have been maimed for life.

I didn’t know anyone involved in that tragedy, but eleven days later, on September 22nd, I faced my own personal grief when my sister died of cancer.

Life and death are a guaranteed part of all our lives, and everyone can look at certain dates on a calendar, and remember again, the terrible pain of parting.

When Christians leave this earth, they go to be forever with their Lord. However, life goes on for us who are left behind, and there will always be a myriad of things – music, flowers, scents, photos, that will remind us of our loved one.

In the Bible it tells us that there is a ‘time to weep…a time to mourn and a time to dance.’ It is hard, but there are some aspects of grief that must be experienced alone. We may have the love and support of friends and family, but they are not strong enough to carry or fully support us. There are some stages of grief that we are not supposed to be rescued from. It’s a process that can’t be aborted or rushed.
“When they walk through the valley of weeping it will be a place of…blessing and refreshment…they will grow in strength.” Ps. 84: 5-7LB You can’t stay in this valley, but neither can you avoid it. Christ qualifies to be our deliverer, comforter, and healer, because He is the only one who ever made and kept an appointment beyond the grave.
So, how can we ‘grow in strength’?
Rev 3:8 says, “I have set before you an open door.” While we are in the agony of grief, it is hard to see that door through the tears. In time, we will have the opportunity and strength to walk through that open door. However, to go on and grow, maybe we need to put some new things in place in our lives.

Here are a few suggestions:• Pray – no matter how busy you are!• Read His Word. Jesus said, “You can’t live by bread alone, you must have My Word” (Matt. 4:4 para.)• Tell your family you love them! (Read your Bible to see how often God says it to you!)• Open yourself to new relationships and experiences. You are the carrier of somebody else’s blessings.• Maintain a positive attitude! Dominate your life with faith and love.
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