Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Grief

Then Joshua tore his clothes and
fell facedown to the ground
before the ark of the Lord,
remaining there till evening.

When Joshua was overcome with grief and despair because of Achan’s sin, he didn’t try to keep a stiff upper lip or to stuff his emotions. Rather, he fell on his face before the Lord and expressed himself openly.

Here are a few thoughts on expressing grief, compiled by a panel of grief therapists: Don’t suppress the pain you feel; it will only resurface later. Experience it, feel it, and resist the temptation to “stuff it.” Grieving is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of integrity. Grief means you are being honest about the feelings in your heart.

Talk about your loss instead of trying to protect your friends and family by your silence. Seek out people who understand what you are experiencing.

Perhaps join a grief support group or see a grief counselor. It’s okay to tell family and friends what you want them to do to help you grieve.

No matter how you feel, talk with God. Even if you are angry, tell God. He’s big enough to handle your pain and your questions.

You’re blessed when you feel
you’ve lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced
by the One most dear to you.

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Guilt

Then Joshua said to Achan,
“My Son, give glory to the Lord,
God of Israel and give Him praise.”
Tell me what you have done;
do not hide it from me.”
Achan replied, “It is true!
I have sinned against the Lord, God of Israel.
JOSHUA 7:19-20

Achan’s story tells of an occasion of true guilt, but sometimes I struggle with false guilt, and it isn’t always easy to tell the difference and deal with each accordingly.

Nor was it easy to break free from the guilt burden I had grown accustomed to lugging around most of my adult life. How such a thing could be habit forming, I can’t imagine. And yet … it seemed so difficult to let it go! I know that God does not want my heart and life to be burdened down! In Matthew 11:30, Jesus tells us, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

So if you find the weight of guilt biting into your shoulders, it is appropriate to consider the source. Very likely you’re carrying a burden that doesn’t belong on your back at all! When our hearts are troubled or burdened by guilt, we can bring it all before our Father. We can ask Him to shine the light of truth on our guilt, so that we can discern what is true and what is false. In this way, one day at a time, we can be set free from the terrible, life-sapping burden of false guilt.

Investigate my life, O God,
Find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong –
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky