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Distinguishing Grief
by Rebecca Christman
03/08/09
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Distinguishing Grief

Experiencing a season of grief is much like the psalmist describes: a low place that seems to be devoid of sunlight because of the presence of death or calamity in our lives. It is a painful emotion, but it is distinctly different from depression.

The difference can simply be put this way:

Grief comes with a sliver of hope. Depression comes laden with despair.

Consider that God tells you in Romans 12 not to be conformed to this world's thinking, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, through the washing of His Word. Simple, repetitive declaration of God's Word will not lift you from such a pit, but knowledge and understanding of God through His Word is very healing. It is not a one-time reading or recitation of His principles, but a continual meditation on promises until they become "heart-ready" for integration into your newly forming belief system.

It is the difference between believing IN God and actually BELIEVING God. And, this difference is more of a spiritual transaction through diligently seeking the Lord on a daily basis, rather than a simple act of the will. Though the will must be submitted to God in forming these beliefs, a true renewing of the mind - one which will not deteriorate or change over time - must be done by His Spirit from within.

Grief must take its course. It is truly a healthy way for your mind to deal with the burdens of life. Grieving is a transitional emotion that ensures the pain remains in the past, yet allows the past to impact our future by enabling us to take its lessons with us. It must be traveled through, like the valley of the shadow of death, but it is not a place to reside.

Some days, you may find the line between grief and depression blurred. You may even experience a fear that the tunnel will never end. But remember, nothing ever remains the same. Life is about change, and change brings opportunity for transformation.

Regardless of which you are experiencing, know that both have legitimate feelings, or even circumstances, at their source. And, both have a legitimate source for their healing.

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