PHILADELPHIA, PA – Christians have heard the Easter story over and over, and some very meaningful and emotional portrayals have helped us to feel the sadness, grief, anger and confusion that must have come with that time.
But imagine being one of Jesus’ friends or family members when he was crucified, especially since they had no idea a resurrection was ahead. No loss we can think of today would perhaps match the suffering felt that day.
Karl Benzio, M.D. is the founder, executive director and a psychiatrist at the Lighthouse Network, an addiction and mental health referral program that also provides the Lighthouse Addiction Helpline, a free, 24-hour counseling helpline. He says that loss of a loved one is often at the root of our mental, physical and even emotional difficulties, mainly because in our grief, we are unable to see the hope of the future, the plan that God might have through the death of a loved one.
Benzio says that Jesus’ friends and family were unable to see the victory during that very dark weekend. They most likely felt very far from God, separated from His love and protection, focusing on the past and perhaps what they could have done to change the present.
“God promises that despite all these obstacles of life, you can have overwhelming victory through Christ,” he added. “Come to Him for help and forgiveness. If you let Christ in, nothing-absolutely nothing-can separate you from His love. No reason all that stuff from the past should steal another minute of your joy and happiness. A victory doesn’t just mean to win. It means a decisive win-a win that leaves no doubt.”
Benzio says that grief is a natural human emotion, and we are entitled to grieve when we experience loss, but that grief shouldn’t become the basis of how we look at life.
“Although it is normal to grieve our losses, it is easy to have this grief become the main lens through which we see ourselves, our future, and especially God,” Benzio said. “This distorted viewpoint will dramatically affect our functioning and decision-making. Instead, we need to choose to concentrate on the relationships, abilities and opportunities that are still ours. In all things, we should strive to view life and God through truthful lenses instead of emotionally distorted ones.”
|A Journey of Your Heart
Restoring the Heart Ministries and Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center. A two-day healing event for those who have suffered from childhood sexual abuse and other types of trauma
|April 20-21, 2012
|6:00-9:00 PM Friday & 9:00 AM-5:00 PM Saturday
|Cambridge United Methodist Church
404 N. Cypress Avenue
Cambridge, MN 55008
|$35 ($25 for Students)
Deadline for online registration is April 15th.
So many people struggle with mental health issues or addictions, but there are no ribbons, pins, awareness walks or fundraisers. These unique crystal bracelets help educate and raise awareness of this epidemic, and the funds raised through their sale help people travel to treatment. Each beaded bracelet comes with your choice of a charm: Faith, Hope, Trust, or Believe.
This is a great gift to give someone who is struggling with hope. Or, if you are struggling, give the bracelet to someone so they can remember and pray for you.