Should I feel guilty for praying that the Lord take my sick mother?


From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: My mother was an invalid for a long time. She asked me to pray that she would die so she would not have to suffer. So I did pray for the Lord to take her, and He did. Now I feel guilty and am having a hard time moving on even though I understand that God holds our lives in His hands. – G.D.

A: Everyone experiences grief at some point. Death will come to everyone. Even when the death of someone we love is expected, we will still grieve our loss. Grieving is a process, and it doesn’t go away overnight, even when we know our loved one’s suffering has ended and he or she is safely in Heaven. There are people who have never experienced grief and cannot understand another’s sorrow. But we should not deny our feelings and pretend everything is fine.

When someone close to us dies, we naturally focus on what that person meant to us in the past, and we sense the crushing finality of death. We realize that the past is gone forever and it will never be repeated. This is perfectly natural. The Lord helps turn our minds to the future when we put our focus on Him. Life goes on and there are others who love and need us. Most of all, God is not finished with us. The Bible tells us to reach forward to those things which are ahead (Philippians 3:13).

By God’s strength, we can show compassion for others who are hurting. Grief turns us inward, but compassion turns us outward, and that’s what we need when grief threatens to crush us.



(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

©2022 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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