AN ANSWER FOR GRIEF
This letter was written to a longtime friend whose father had recently died.
Sorry for not responding right away. I was in Birmingham, Alabama all weekend teaching at a conference there.
I know how hard it is for you right now. The intensity of the feelings does fade over time, though I cannot tell you how long it will take. One of the hardest things I found about my father dying is that I felt like a safety net had been removed from under me. Although I never felt that he protected or supported me while he was alive, I found that there was a sense of security in knowing that my father was there if I needed him. I never felt so alone in my life. It did not matter that my mother and brothers were still alive–there is something about my father that no other relationship could replace, even my relationship with G. Most painful of all I think was the feeling of loss, not so much that loss of what was but of what could have been and was not and the loss of the opportunity to have a real relationship with him. I am also deeply pained by the anguish which was my father’s life and by the wish that I could have delivered him from that anguish.
Having found an answer to my own inner anguish and turmoil, it feels really bad that I cannot share it with him now that he has died. Sometimes I still feel that my grief will never end.
But I have come to know that these are just feelings, and like all feelings, they pass, no matter how intense. Feelings and thoughts are not spiritual reality. That does not lessen the intensity of the feelings, nor do I mean to downplay your feelings for your father at all. The intensity of your feelings shows how significant your father was in your life. Of course they’re intense. Thank God they are, for if they weren’t, it would mean either that you were unfeeling and uncaring or that your father had been unfeeling toward you. You have lost someone irreplaceable (at least until heaven) and you feel it intensely. Allow yourself to grieve and feel those feelings-don’t squelch them or dismiss them or they will come back to haunt you years later. Repressed grief is a horrible thing and can lead to sin if you don’t handle it right. Though you may not feel Him right now, God is right there inside you, joined in inseparable on to your spirit (1 Cor. 6:17), feeling what you feel, experiencing what you experience. He is not distant from you, as if you had to go search for Him. Instead, He is within, joined to you, living his own life through you (Gal. 2:20). Imagine that! God is not up on some high and mighty throne somewhere, though He is the sovereign Lord of the universe. Instead in ama.7ing divine humility and condescension, He comes down to dwell in our very hearts and experience what we experience, expressing his character through us as His images and vessels. God has not left you, nor does He sleep or slumber but is present within you and is closer to you than your own heart, if such a thing could be.
God’s comfort is not in feelings, which will probably remain intensely painful for awhile. God’s comfort, rather, is in the realm of truth and reality, the realm of spirit. This reality is grasped only when we put our faith into it and take it as our new perspective. When we trust in God rather than our doubts, we can begin to see everything that hap pens as God’s perfect circumstances for us, no matter how evil or painful it is.
I hope this helps you.
Once again, the conference was the best yet. I know we always say that, but then it is always true. God is always doing "a new thing"
through us. I was thrilled to be a part of the teaching team this time but also felt very nervous about it. However, I knew for sure it would be Christ as me doing it and my part was to believe it was Him and stand up and open my mouth. Once I was doing it the more intense feelings went and I was aware of only feeling slightly nervous and uncomfortable.
I cannot say I enjoyed the conference on a feeling level but there was a joy of the spirit in being there with God’s people and seeing Christ be how He wanted to be through me and others. The highlight of the conference for me was the last morning when Page shared at length on the word of faith and intercession. It brought to me again the seriousness, urgency and awesomeness of our calling and ministry. The next day I spoke a word of faith for my parents’ salvation. That day was also my birthday which was significant and I will always remember the day I spoke my word of faith for them. My only regret about the conference is that it didn’t go on longer. I have missed seeing people between summer camp and our autumn conference. God knows all that and is in control and I know if I was meant to be seeing people more, I would be. I did enjoy my trip back to London with Page, Sanda, and Scott. It extended my time of fellowship with them by a few hours which I was very pleased about.
I will close for the present. Give my love to all the folks in Scotland. See you soon.
I want to express my deep appreciation for your series on the book of Romans that has been appearing in the magazine. It has been one of the most profound commentaries that I have ever read on Romans. You are dealing with questions that have been on my mind for many years.
Would you mind if from time to time I write with a question if I have any trouble grasping some-thing? I would certainly try not to abuse the privilege, but would enjoy and benefit greatly from a little dialogue from time to time.
P.S. Jesus is the only One Who can run my life without destroying me in the process.
I am glad that you like the articles on Romans. It is good to know that others benefit from them. You may send e-mail, ask questions, etc. any time you like and I would be happy to answer you. Do not worry about "abusing the privilege," as I always like to find out where some-thing I have said or written is not clear to others. If one person has trouble grasping something, it is likely that many others have trouble as well.
May God bless you richly,
Dear Mimi, Gail and Pat,
Thank you for the tapes–I’ve about worn out Page Prewitt’s "Body, Soul and Spirit" from listening to it over and over, etc. What a blessing!
Is there a more complete listing of available tapes? I notice that, with the exception of Brett Burrowes, all of your tapes listed in The Intercessor are pre- 1990.
Thank you for generous contribution to Zerubbabel, Inc. and your note to Mimi, Gail, and me.
I’m glad you are enjoying Page’s "Body, Soul 8e Spirit" tape. Yes, you are right; many of our tapes are pre-1990. The complete list that we have is the one in The Intercessor. Each tape is a person sharing the truth from his or her life experience and they have been invaluable to others who wanted to know the secret of living the Christian life. The newer ones that we have avail-able at present are Brett’s, which are very good. To me, they complement the others and add the truth from Brett’s life and perspective.
Once again, we very much appreciate your sharing with us.
In Christ, Pat
Greetings in the Name of Jesus. Just a few lines to thank you very much for The Intercessor–There is always a blessing in it, especially the letters page to read of the experiences of others in Christ.
Thank you and God bless you.
SHARING THE GOOD NEWS
Please, if you can, check and see if you have any issues of The Intercessor prior to 1984. I have only the November-December issue of 1984 and am missing all of 1985. I share my magazines with others that have ears to hear. I am so thankful to receive this magazine and so sorry that the book (Yes I Am) is now out of print. There are real hungry hearts here to know who they really are. We have gatherings in our home several times a year to fellow-ship and share our beings.
Thank you all for your response.
Oklahoma City, OK
Dear Ms. Micue,
It was a delight to receive your letter. We appreciate your labor in sharing the truth with those folks with whom you meet. It would be wonderful if you were able to come to summer camp this year.
I have sent all the back issues of The Intercessor that we had that you were missing. Some of the earlier ones we do not have available. The first issue was printed in 1985, so there were none before that.
Once again, thank you for your encouragement and I look forward to meeting you in person.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 12 No 3
- Editor’s Note
- To Think About…Faith
- Rethinking the 12 Steps
- Moments with Meryl
- How Do You See?
- A Look at a Book
- 1996 British Easter Conference Report
- The Letter to the Romans
- Tape Talk
- Excerpts from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Questions & Answers
- The Mailbox
- When Quiet Equals Judment
- 1996 Annual Business Report
- Youth "Business"
- Be Yourself
- Words to Live By…