Last week we celebrated Independence Day in the US. It’s always fun with hot dogs and fireworks. BTW, did you hear or see the story about the fireworks in San Diego? The whole 20 minute show went off all at once in 20 seconds! My daughter sometimes helps set up and set off fireworks displays in San Diego. I’m glad to report that she had nothing to do with that one! It got me to thinking about independence and grief. I realized that there is only a very little bit of the work you have to do as a grieving parent that you can do independently. Only you can grieve your feelings of grief. That’s your only independent grief-work. The rest of all you have to do is interdependent and dependent.

The Bible has much to say about doing our lives as interdependent “brothers and sisters.” That’s the point of all those “one another” passages. Love one another, encourage one another, be patient with one another, weep with one another. Sometimes you give; sometimes you are on the receiving end. That’s the point of the image of a body or a building. We are each a stone cut for a specific place in a specific wall of the building. Each of us is a specific body part with a job to do for the whole body – a little left finger, or a toe, or a small muscle that helps form a smile. As such, we are interdependent with one another. None of us makes it on our own.

And we all are dependent on Jesus for life and grace. There are so many things we can’t do for ourselves. And things we can’t really get appropriate help from one another either. We NEED Jesus to give life to our dead hearts. We NEED Jesus to cleanse our souls from the effects of sin in our lives. Jesus is totally available to us since He promises to be with us now and to the end of the age. There are many ways that our friends and family can and do help with practical service or encouragement. But there are times when we’re sure no one really understands us. That’s when Jesus is the One who does. We are dependent on Him because we can do nothing for ourselves to solve these problems.

But He IS there. He said He is always with us. HE is depend-able. He has told His people to “one another” each other. That’s you and me. In our grief we are all these; dependent, interdependent, and independent. But least of all, we are independent. Thanks be to God, He has promised to be there for us.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. I Corinthians 12:25-26 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20b If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:11