Wise ones tell you: the grieving process comes in waves; you will not feel the way you do today, forever. Commit to the work of recovery, they advise, with good counsel, support, and reliance on the grace of God to instruct, convict, comfort, cleanse—and restore.
As I meditate on Psalm 30, David’s account of this process in his own life, I think of the analogy of washing hair: the “wash” (of emotions) over the event, trauma, or series of same; the “rinse” (of good counsel and comfort); and finally, the acceptance of the fact that the process will likely repeat as new layers of hurt—and healing—emerge, adding to the “work (of restoration) in progress.”
If we don’t give up.
David experienced this process, too, again and again, in psalm after psalm.
But that’s not all he experienced.
Through candid confessions, he reveals his own recovery processes, whether due to self- or other-inflicted sorrows, and he reveals the promise on the other side of the pain: the mourning of sorrow that, through God’s great kindness and compassion, turns into a morning of joy.
And we, too, can be encouraged.
From the New International Version, here is one of David’s accounts of this “cleansing” process:
I will exalt you, Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.