When Grief Strikes Like a Hammer, Will You Use It to Build or Destroy?

(Unsplash/Leo Moko)

This year, it's safe to say we have all experienced loss and grief. Whether a job, a relationship, our health, someone we love or even our dreams for the future, we've suffered loss, says author, speaker and ministry leader Ron Hutchcraft.

"One thing we've all lost is a sense of uncertainty and predictability," he says, and that loss strikes our lives like a hammer.

But as Hutchcraft points out in a recent episode of the Family Matters podcast series on the Charisma News podcast, a hammer can destroy, but it can also build. "So it isn't the hammer that decides, but what you do with the hammer," he says. "Many of us even in the past few months had some kind of loss. ... We didn't get any choice about getting hit by that hammer. But we do have choices as to what we do after that."

Hutchcraft details those choices and the issues surrounding them in his upcoming book, Hope When Your Heart Is Breaking. He says, "What I have learned through some of the deepest heartache of my life is that it was my choices that determined where I ended up, not so much the sad thing that happened."

Hutchcraft experienced the sudden loss of his wife and ministry partner in 2016 when, he says, "she went home to be with Jesus for the best day of her life—and the worst day of mine," adding that he experienced "a broken heart at the level I didn't even know was possible."

But early on in his loss, Hutchcraft did two crucial things. The first was to start a grief journal. The second was a prayer he recorded there: "Lord, if it's going to hurt this much, please use it somehow to make me more useful to me and to other people."

"In a sense, that was a choice that I wanted this to make me a man I wasn't and hadn't been," he says.

And God continues to answer that prayer. Hutchcraft's book details the many ways God is close to the brokenhearted, as Psalm 34:18 reminds us. "I qualify for that verse. And you probably do too," he says. "And so what happens is, He's able to go places in your heart with His comfort, His courage, His strength, His grace, that you didn't even know you had before I found myself, and I find myself today, feeling Jesus more than I've ever felt Him."

To learn more about how to make positive, biblical choices about the impact of grief's hammer on your life, listen to the entire Family Matters podcast here, and visit hopewhenyourheartisbreaking.com to learn more about Ron Hutchcraft and his insightful new book.

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