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April 11 , 2008

Understanding Grief


A short ebook to help those who grieve.
Here's the commendation by Michael Cassidy:
"It is a privilege to write these words of commendation for Alan Bester’s splendid booklet on Understanding Grief. He writes these words which he had already spoken into the lives of his congregation, in the aftermath of the loss in their congregation in a short span of time of three little babies. So the words of these pages come out of the existential context of a church community overwhelmed with grief, but also caught up in entering into profoundly the grief of those parents who have lost their little ones. So these pages are not full of theory but of deep spiritual reality and comfort.
What is very special here is that Alan writes so deeply as a pastor and counsellor. Here are the words and the heartbeat of a shepherd of God’s people and one whose human understandings have made him a deep and effective counsellor to those who are grieving.
In these pages Alan does not bring forth simplistic or superficial answers. What he shares comes out of deep wrestling with the issues raised by suffering as undoubtedly the deepest philosophical question before the human race. Alan’s words are not only spiritually relevant, but practical. People are helped to work through the issues of their grief, even as they are brought face to face with the glorious Christian world view of a God who is really there, and of a Heaven which is really there, in addition to our own world which is really here. In other words, we are challenged to take seriously what the Bible tells us about Reality and shown how to apply it.
Alan also very helpfully enables us to see how grief and suffering can even become spiritual friends taking us into some of the deepest places of divine blessing. Alan helps us grasp how we need to allow grief to enable us to discern in new categories what really matters in life.
Beautifully written as this little book is, it cannot of course bring all the answers to all the questions. But for myself I always rejoice that in our mystification and in our overwhelming "WHY’S’", nevertheless even our Lord has entered into such questionings and such mystification when on the Cross He not only bore our sins and transgressions, and our griefs and sorrows, but also all our questionings when in His humility He cried out: "My God, my God, WHY…?"; thereby gathering up all the why’s that ever tumbled from the human breast. This is comforting indeed.
Alan really helps us all to lay hold of these truths. In so doing he opens the way for us to God’s comfort and blessing.
The Lord bless you as you absorb the message of these pages.
Michael Cassidy"

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