Taking Time to Grieve
Genesis 23; Genesis 35:19-21

We were entirely ready for God to remove these defects of character.

The pathway to recovery and finding new life also involves the death process. The different means we used to cope were "defective," but still, they did give us comfort or companionship. Giving them up is often like suffering the death of a loved one.

Abraham and his grandson, Jacob, both lost loved ones as they traveled to the Promised Land. "Sarah . . . died at Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron) in the land of Canaan. There Abraham mourned and wept for her. Then, leaving her body, he said . . . 'Here I am, a stranger and a foreigner among you. Please sell me a piece of land so I can give my wife a proper burial.' . . . Then Abraham buried his wife, Sarah, there" (Genesis 23:1-4, 19). A generation later, Jacob was given a new name, Israel, and the promise of a great heritage in the Promised Land. On his way there, he, too, lost his beloved wife. She died while giving birth to their son, Benjamin. "So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Jacob set up a stone monument over Rachel's grave, and it can be seen there to this day. Then Jacob traveled on" (Genesis 35:19-21).

As we travel toward our new lives, we will necessarily lose some of our defective ways of coping. When this happens, we need to stop and take time to give our losses a proper burial. We need to put them away, cover the shame, and allow ourselves to grieve the loss of something very familiar to us. When the time of grieving is over, we, too, can travel on.

We need to grieve our loss of the familiar so we can be ready for the new to come.