Finding True Peace
© Ferna Lary Mills
Grief takes a huge toll on our soul. It's an emptiness that can consume us and make us
weary to the bone, although that term often seems like a huge understatement. We cry until
no more tears will come; we bury our heads under our pillow; we find ourselves so low that
we just can't seem to find the strength to find our way back. Our strength is gone, our spirit is
drained, and there seems to be nothing left to lift us back up out of this horrible pit. At this
lowest point we just want to lie down and give up. It seems that life is no longer worth living
and we would prefer to just to go sleep and never wake again.

That's the depths that Grief can take us. So what can we do when we find ourselves at that
depth? How do we break the chain of despair and reach the end of the rope that we turned
loose of, and pull ourselves back up out of this pit? How do we find the strength? The
desire? The courage? The will to go on?

It's not easy, but it is possible, and I know this for I've been in that place of complete and total
misery. I've seen it from the inside, felt it in the pit of my soul, and wrangled with its grip
through the darkness of many nights. I know it's not a pretty place and I know its powerful
agony. I also know there is an escape ~ an escape from grief back to the world of the living ~
an escape that eventually leads to real joy.  This escape route begins with adjusting your
focus.

Do you remember the old camera's, before the days of "auto-focus"? With those old
cameras, if you didn't manually adjust your focus you would end up with a photo of blurry
people and a clear background. Or if you were taking a scenic snapshot, you might end up
with a blurry scene and a clear telephone pole up close. Success or failure in taking just the
perfect picture depended almost solely on your ability to manually focus that lens.

Getting out of the mire of your grief depends almost totally on your ability to do that very
same thing. Where is your focus? Can you only see what you have lost? Or maybe you just
can't see anything through your tears. Are you focused only on the past? Or focused on the
emptiness of the present? All of these will give you a very blurry picture of your life and not a
very pretty picture to give you hope enough to reach for the end of that rope.

Manually adjust your focus. It's not easy, but not impossible either. Focus on Jesus. Period. If
you can make that manual adjustment and find yourself focusing solely on Jesus and His
love for you, then everything else will eventually fade away: the pain, the hurt, the emptiness,
the despair. I don't mean for you to focus on him temporarily. Rather, focus on him solely,
continually, moment by moment, with your every waking breath. Talk with him in continual
prayer, read the scriptures that tell of His love and His sacrifice for you. Listen for His still
small voice in your heart. Ask Him to renew your spirit and be your strength. For only by
focusing on Jesus will you find that place of peace and the renewal of your spirit. Only by
focusing on His love will you fill that emptiness in your heart.

Sound too simple? Maybe. But it's true. Jesus loves you. He grieves when you grieve and
He wants to be your comforter, your savior, your best friend, your helper. All you have to do
is focus on Him and ask. He will be your strength and carry you when you don't have the
strength to lift your head. He will cover you with a peace that no human on earth can begin to
understand. He will show you the pathway for you to walk for a future filled with joy and He
will walk with you every step of this new journey.

No human being on this planet can offer you relief from your grief. No amount of money, no
event, no place on earth will give you that kind of peace. Yet His peace is given freely, and
all that is required is that you seek Him.

Now, this kind of focus does take effort on your part. You have to lift your eyes to meet His,
and you have to ask. You have to believe, and you have to trust Him. Trust in His eternal
faithfulness. He is always with you and promises never to leave you. Never. Who else in this
life can make that promise to you? Who else has the power to heal your aching heart? Who
else loved you enough to die on a cross so that our life can be eternal and without end?

Reunions are being planned in Heaven, even as we weep. If we can keep our focus on
Jesus, we can rest assured in His promise that we will see our loved ones again one day,
and we can have His peace to continue to live out our lives until that appointed time.

When you find yourself falling back into that pit, re-adjust your focus back on Jesus. To
focus on anything else may cause you to fall back into that pit of grief. If something is
standing between you and Him, then move. Stay as close to His side as humanly possible.
He will never leave you, but things in life will try to wedge between you and the Lord. When
you feel alone and it seems like you just can't feel His presence, remember His promise:  I
AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. He will never leave you, ever. Remind yourself that He is STILL
with you, even when you feel like you are all alone. Find that quiet place where you can be
still and block out the noises of this life and just listen for His voice in your heart in the
stillness.

Most importantly, ALLOW Him to comfort you. He wants to, but you have to allow it. Be
willing to give up your grief for His comfort. Sometimes it is so hard to do that because we
feel like if we give up our grief, then we are failing to grieve our loved one properly. This is
not so. Give your grief to Him and allow His comfort to take place. It does not mean you don't
still love and miss your loved one. It simply means that you have changed your focus - from
your loved one - to Jesus. And that's okay. Your loved one is sitting at Jesus' feet, and that's
what they want you to do ~ focus on Jesus. Honor your loved ones in this way.

May the Peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, be with you. May you find that
special relationship with Jesus, a friendship like no other, and may you find the real Joy that
He has planned for you as you walk and talk with Him every step you take.


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