Jeremiah 8:18 You who are my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.

Eventually, we are all going to experience grief in our lives. It’s one of those unavoidable things. Death comes to our doorstep and we are deeply impacted by our loss. We can feel powerless and helpless, confused and hopeless. The loss of a loved one, a close relative, or dear friend is very hard to bear at times. Being human means we will experience this sadness; being human means that those we love may be taken from us by death.

Today’s verse from Jeremiah originates at a time when the ancient prophet was seeing the destruction of his nation and the death of his people. Tragedy impacted his life and severely tested his faith. At times, he was so bereft of hope that Jeremiah became known as the ‘Weeping Prophet.’ His heart was breaking for his people; his life was full of shattered dreams.

And then, in the midst of all his pain, he plaintively cries out to God for help. “You who are my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.” Jeremiah wants God to know how much he is hurting. The prophet is vulnerable and powerless, insecure and totally grief-stricken.

When we suffer loss and experience grief, God is not remote from our pain or circumstances. He is right there with us, enduring our brokenness, and seeking to comfort us in the midst of our sorrow. He understands grief because He once lost His only Son to death. He could have avoided that separation and suffering; God could have escaped the tears and grief that Christ’s death caused Him. However, in order to fully experience the human condition, God chose to undergo grief and personally feel the pain. This is how He comforts us – He brings His own experience of loss and grief, showing us that He understands our loss as well as providing us with the embrace of a God who hurts, suffers, and grieves with all His children.

May God comfort all of us who are grieving. May His genuine concern and love embrace us all.