Welcome to our third week for “Laughing in the Dark: a Bible Study on the Book of Job” by Chonda Pierce and Dale McCleskey. Grief is not an easy topic for discussion, especially in a womens Bible study. Yet it’s real and affects all of us sometime in our lives. Chonda shares her testimony of losing her mother and David, and processing her pain. Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience or witnessed a friend through her own journey of grief. These are times when we reflect on memories- both good and bad. What do we say to grieving friends? Suffering is universal, God is present, lean closer to Jesus.
There are many types of grief NOT mentioned in the book this week. Delores Kuenning in her book “Helping People Through Grief” identifies these places of grief:
- birth of impaired or handicapped baby
- miscarriage, stillbirth, or sudden infant death
- abduction, murder, or missing child
- children with cancer
- releasing a child for adoption
- emotional aftermath of abortion
- emotional aftermath of rape
- pain of divorce
- mastectomy, disfigurement, or disability
- death by suicide
- sudden catastrophic death
- life-threatening or terminal illness
- death of a spouse
- gradual loss of a loved one to Alzheimer’s disease
- nursing home placement
- death as a release of life’s full cycle
Let’s not limit grief to a specific event, such as a breathless body. We need to realize there are many forms of grief and we need to journey through this season in our life. Don’t journey alone in the darkness. Invite Jesus there.
In addition to the Bible and reading God’s Word, these are the books (below) that helped me through a season of grief, when three of my family members died around the same time- two in the same week. I leaned closer to Jesus, found comfort in the words of friends, attended Grief Care classes at my local church, and spent time with Jesus in my journey of grief. With certainty, I never felt Him closer than at that time of suffering in my life!
How to Survive the Worst Day of Your Life by Brian Zahnd
Confessions of a Grieving Christian by Zig Ziglar
Helping People Through Grief by Delores Kuenning
The Heaven Answer Book by Billy Graham
What Do We Tell The Children by Joseph Primo
If you have a book that comforted you in a time of grief, please share the title in the comments below. Thank you!
ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK
- Select a small group day and time that fits your schedule http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCSmallGroups/
- Read WEEK FOUR in the Laughing in the Dark Study Book
- Deeper study: Read through the entire Book of Job, a chapter each day or a few chapters on the weekend.
- Share some of your favorite book quotes with your social media friends and hashtag #BibleCafe so we can find them too!
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK
(You will have the opportunity to share your answers to these questions during your small group time. You may also post them here. Consider also recording your answers in your spiritual journal)
- “Laughing in the Dark” is one of the lightest Bible studies we’ve done at WBC. It’s written by a comedian, not a Bible scholar, yet the subject is quite serious! Share one discovery you’ve had either from watching the movie, reading the study book, or reading the Book of Job. What have you learned so far?
- There are many types of grief NOT mentioned in the book this week. Let’s discuss them: grieving the loss of a pet; grieving the loss of a relationship such as marriage or friend; grieving the loss of a body image after cancer; grieving the loss of a healthy child after a diagnosis such as autism; grieving the loss of a job; grieving the loss of children who move away/empty nest. How do we help a friend who is grieving losses such as these? Rather than saying “God has a plan” we might say ______________ (share your thoughts).
- What has helped you most in the time of grief, either from one of the grieving examples we just mentioned or the loss of a loved one (page 41). What has been least helpful when you were grieving?
- God allows the good to suffer and the wicked to prosper, according to the Psalm 73. Chonda explains, “The Book of Job allows us to wrestle with the problem of evil.” Many have abandoned their faith because of this. How do we maintain our faith in the midst of our suffering? What has worked or not worked for you in the past? Let’s learn from each other.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extreme suffering, where are you right now in your life? Post a number only…
Praying for you,