Posted in 1Samuel

Getting Over Grief

“Now the Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul…? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.’” 1Samuel 16:1

Samuel was stuck in his grief. He had prophesied to Saul, anointed Saul, and saw him get off to a great start as Israel’s king, but now Saul had turned his back on God. God had allowed a time of grief to pass so that Samuel could rightfully mourn Saul’s backslidden condition and the negative results all Israel was experiencing, but now He wanted Samuel to move on. “How long will you grieve over Saul?” It’s as if God was asking, “Is this your new life? Are you going to be depressed and live in regret every day because someone you love isn’t walking with God?” God had stuff He wanted Samuel to do for Him, new people for him to anoint, but Samuel couldn’t do anything if he wasn’t willing to leave the place of grief.

Have you been there? I sure have. It’s a dark and heavy place that taints all of life in a negative way. How do you get over the failure of someone close to you? The answer is not forgetting them, but giving them to God in prayer recognizing that only He can reach them. While you ask God to touch the one you love, you also need to be willing to leave the place of grief and go touch someone else He loves. “Fill your horn with oil and go…” Part of our healing comes from getting filled again with His Spirit to touch someone He leads us to in Jesus Name. The way He touches through us is often as simple as a word of encouragement, a prayer, a good deed, or just a listening ear.

It’s a strange thing in the kingdom, but often true. The ones we love the most are often the hardest for us to reach,  so we need to trust them with God, and let Him raise up someone else to speak into their lives. As life and people disappoint us we can allow our grief to paralyze us, or we can give it to God, fill our horns with oil, and ask God to use us again for His glory.


Pastor at City Church in Madison, Wisconsin