Grief can become as fresh and strong as it was in the first moments of loss.

Our grief rises out of a love that doesn’t stop with death, a love that continues to grow and keep the heart captive, a love so strong that it produces faith to believe there’s more.

We often talk about heaven-side when someone dies; however, there is the reality of what must be managed on earth.

One thing for sure:  God is always with us and is always for us, giving the power of hope to press on and move forward.

Grief remains flowing as a deep river of sorrow.  Even so, there’s another side of grief as it intertwines with faith and strengthens belief in the with-God life.

Matthew (14) wrote about the Jesus receiving the news of his cousin being beheaded while in prison.  Jesus, fully human and fully God, had grief.  In his humanity, the horrific news of the beheading had to have impacted Jesus to the core.  He certainly had memories of life together, knowing his cousin had lived and died with the focused purpose of preparing the way for him. 

And.

He must of had to  grief for those who participated in the beheading, an evil act darkness, the antithesis of humanity’s purpose.  

Grief is hard.

  • It’s a process to realize that someone has died and is gone from earth.   
  • It’s a process to learn how to live after someone dies. 
  • It’s a process to heal. 

Grief is a gift.   

  • It’s a part of who we were made to be. 
  • It’s valuing the individual. 
  • It’s a revelation of what really matters. 

So. 

Jesus left by boat, making space for his initial grieving; however, people began to gather to hear him teach. 

It’s a challenge to make room for others when grief moves in. 

Jesus chose to care for the crowd, estimated at 5,000 men plus the uncounted women and children.  He turned his attention to the thousands, teaching them about what matters.  The day grew long.  The thousands of people were hungry.

Think on the elements of the piece of the story:

  • The huge crowd became hungry.
  • The lack of food became apparent.
  • The disciples searched and found one young boy’s lunch . . . five loaves of bread . . .  and two fish.

It was not enough. 

But . . .  the child . . . one of the “least” of these provided the meal which would become a miracle.  Jesus multiplied the child’s generosity.  It became enough for all of the thousands.  It must have changed the boy’s life . . . to know . . . Jesus used what he had in a miraculous way.

This story is a revelation of who God is in our life and who we are to be to others.   

Study the word, multiply.   It’s an unusual word for the one who is trying to navigate the deep waters of sorrow.

But. 

Multiplication is the message. 

This story reveals enough to talk about the rest of our lives.  Even so, look closely at one thing: Jesus honored his cousin’s life work. 

In the end, the story is a revelation of what to do with grief.   We are to honor the lives of those who go before us . . . by weaving the “why of their living . . .  into who we are and what we do. 

Each generation has the opportunity to bridge the “why” of those who come before and those who will come after.  

One more thing  to think about . . . one young boy, the disciples, and the crowd . . . were impacted by John’s legacy through Jesus on the day of the announcement of his death.

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