We must allow ourselves to fully experience and traverse the journey of grief, anger, or confusion in the wake of trauma, while also keeping ourselves open to the will and timing of God.
Jesus modeled this for us beautifully in Matthew 14:1-22. We see Jesus find a place of solitude in the wake of hearing about John’s beheading. Being a Christian does not isolate a person from pain, grief, and misfortune. The inevitable pain that each believer will face requires faith and perseverance to do the hard work of grieving and healing. Solitude can be a part of that process, but running away to avoid the pain or throwing yourself headlong into busier ministry tasks is not helpful. We see Jesus model the balance of knowing personal needs and also remaining faithful to God’s call to serve others. Jesus took time to process his grief, but gave that grief to God when called in the moment to serve. From this willingness came one of the greatest miracles he would perform while on earth. There should never be pressure on a person to simply “get over it” after a traumatic event, but, for some, continuing in ministry can bring joy and meaning to a dark season of life.