It’s probably not a coincidence that often what I am studying in the Bible goes right along with other things that I am reading. Recently in a book about grief, I came across a chapter on rumination. Here’s a definition:

Rumination is the focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress, and on its possible causes and consequences.”

When we are grieving, some of the topics that seem to preoccupy us are:

  1. Negative emotional reactions to our loss (our reactions)
  2. Unfairness of the loss (injustice)
  3. Meanings and consequences of the loss (meaning)

Since I have also been reading through the Psalms, I realized that many of them are ruminations. The Psalmist cries out to God, listing a variety of physical and emotional symptoms (here are some examples from Psalm 38):

“My wounds stink and fester”(5)

“I am utterly bowed down and prostrate” (6)

“I am feeble and crushed” (8)

Often unfairness is mentioned:

“Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good.” Psalm 38:20

“The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at them.” Psalm 37:12

The meaning and consequences for the believer are ultimately comforting:

“… there is a future for the man of peace” Psalm 37:37

“Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord.” Psalm 35:9

“You are a hiding place for me.” Psalm 32:7

I could go one, but my point is this: the Psalms are ruminations from the past. Plus, they are more than that — they are co-ruminations (the repetitive, extension discussion between two close friends) –in this case, the close friend is God. He is there for us in every grief we experience. He understands our pain. We can tell Him exactly how we feel and He will comfort us and lead us into acceptance and understanding.

If you are grieving today, turn to the Psalms. It’s a good place to find consolation.

For more about the Psalms see:

Martin Luther on the Psalms

Martin Luther and the Book of Psalms

Reading the Psalms With Luther–Book Review

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , by jculler1972. Bookmark the permalink.

About jculler1972

My husband is the retired pastor of St. Paul's Free Lutheran Church in Leitersburg, Maryland. I have two grown daughters, three grandchildren and am retired after a career in Purchasing. I have published articles in The Lutheran Ambassador, Lutheran Witness, and Lutheran Digest. My Bible study on the Book of Acts was published in 2016 by the Women's Missionary Federation of the AFLC(Association of Free Lutheran Churches).

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