Day 268

Grief and Anger

'And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had disgraced him.' I Samuel 20:34

Grief and anger are not the same, but they know each other well. Often the two go together, feeding on each other. Jonathan's father, King Saul, sought to kill David. Because of the friendship between David and Jonathan, the son was angry with the father and grieved for his friend. It made Jonathan angry that his father wanted to kill David, causing him to grieve over the difficulty in which David found himself.

There are many things worse than death, and experiencing excruciating pain is one of them; grief is a manifestation of pain. For example, you watch a loved one suffering terribly with cancer. You grieve for them, wishing that they could die and end their misery, and then feel guilty over your reaction. You are angry with God for not stopping the suffering, and at yourself for not responding in a more biblical fashion. Or, you may be the one with the cancer, grieving over your pain and angry with God for bringing the cancer into your life.

Mixing gratitude with grief is the only antidote to anger; anger is a manifestation of ingratitude. As you pass 'through the valley of the shadow of death,'[1] you express gratitude to God, for you know that 'all things work together for good to them that love God.'[2] With gratitude you affirm GodÕs goodness in the midst of your grief, and the anger dissipates.

[1] Psalm 23:4
[2] Romans 8:28

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