I Peter: 1:6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
We are all are experiencing corporate grief right now. Many of us are fortunate enough to only experience it second-hand through TV coverage of Covid-19 but there are so many more who are terrifyingly closer to it. God bless them. God bless us all. Even from a distance we see the evidence of grief that impacts hearts in varied ways. We see the productive side through testimonies of determined sacrifice and service. We see tears of courage that will not bow to anxiety and loss. We hear real stories of creative compassion that finds ways to bridge the circumstances of isolation in life and death. We also see willful denial that balks at being told what we should be doing. We see angry protests redefined as personal freedoms. We see choosing risk over reality because it’s beyond the walls that isolate us in our own homes and neighborhoods. These are how varied the responses are that define corporate grief during this very real trial.
All the elements are in place right now for Jesus to redeem the evidence of our corporate grief and make it productive, not destructive. Grief that teaches us to put the other “person” back into “personal” lives. Grief that reveals Jesus to the hearts of those who love, serve, weep and mourn as well as those deny and protest.
Lord Jesus redeem our grief so that it will not be what defines our hearts, but what refines them. May it be “though you have not seen him[Jesus], you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” May it be so!