The chaos we have experienced this year – and will continue to experience for the foreseeable future – has been an incredible drag on personal and corporate productivity. How does one manage their time and the time of others in the midst of such uncertainty?

As strange as it may sound, grieving offers a strategic advantage to the Christian leader who will go there and subsequently help their spheres of influence do the same. God is calling us to more – to a higher level of glory (and kingdom productivity). To get there, we must grieve.

Chaos can be confusing and distracting, drawing us away from God’s purpose in our lives. It can become overwhelming and discouraging, threatening to destroy our destiny as kingdom citizens. In other words, we become unproductive.

On the other hand, chaos can be used by God to clarify and concentrate our focus, while empowering and encouraging us for kingdom assignments – the good works God prepared for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). Furthermore, God intends for chaos to draw us closer to Himself and transform us into the image of His Son’s glory.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2Corinthians 3:18

Consider the ugly, leaf-bound, and leaf-eating caterpillar who metamorphoos into a beautiful, free-flying, and nectar-eating butterfly (the Greek for transform is metamorphoo). Dying to his old way and form, the caterpillar becomes a glorious new form of God’s creation.

Similarly, God will use the chaos of this decade to dramatically transform the individuals, families, and fellowships who keep their eyes focused on the Lord and their minds set on things above. The Holy Spirit waits for God’s people to submit to His transforming – metamorphoo’ing – work.

Our response to God’s call requires leaving something behind. Many times, it is security, long held beliefs, routines, even people and places we have grown to love. Rarely does this call not involve a dying to ourselves.

So, there must be grieving.

Grieving is not something most people readily embrace because we associate it with negative events. I am encouraging you to see grieving as the grace God has provided for all His children. Knowing our weaknesses, He has given us the process of grieving that we might more easily and productively walk through the transformation required for our next assignment.

Here are four benefits of grieving:

  1. It prepares you to let go – making the first step possible. Saying goodbye is a liberating and empowering experience. Even when you don’t know what you are leaving, offering up your “whatever” to God releases His grace for the journey.
  2. It allows you to keep your face turned in the right direction. God designed us to face toward the direction our feet are taking us; so that we avoid tripping over obstacles and running into others. Those that keep looking back have a tough time finding God’s path (and beholding the Lord).
  3. It makes future grieving easier, as God calls you to let go of more. Transformation is an iterative process. Dying to ourselves – that God might be our all-in-all – is not a onetime event (and this is God’s mercy). As God proves Himself faithful in our letting go, we grow to trust Him for more.
  4. Grieving liberates us from ourselves, that we might help others grieve. Those “others” are likely the people God has called us to run with, into the chaos and beyond.

Perhaps the most important thing I have learned about grieving is that it is a relational activity. God uses it to build our relationship with Him and others. Consequently, the beginning point for our grieving must be prayer. Both the PAPA Prayer (Crabb, 2006) and the prayer of Psalm 139:23-24 will be helpful in this regard.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

So, when you are ready to take the first step in your adventure towards more, ask God to reveal something that you need to leave behind – something that will allow you to practice the grieving process. He will meet you there.

God bless you with wisdom and grace to grieve your loss and help others to do the same.

Humbly yours and forever His,


Crabb, L. (2006). The PAPA Prayer. Brentwood, TN: Integrity Publishers.