How Widows Express Gratitude When Grieving

By Howard

January 7, 2022

How Widows Express Gratitude After The Loss Of their Husband

“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”
                                                                                                                                Job 1:21

How can you, a widow, honestly have the same perspective Job had after he suffered the death of all his children and lost all his wealth?  

We all appreciate a good gifts.  Our family, good friends, leisure time, and more. Most of us can naturally express at least some measure of gratitude for these and other blessings.

Jonathan Edwards, an American evangelist, made a helpful distinction between what he referred to as “natural gratitude” and “gracious gratitude.”

Anybody is capable of expressing natural gratitude.

It starts with the things we’re given and the benefits accompanying them. 

But gracious gratitude is very different. When circumstances and relationships in your life are difficult and challenging,  it is hard to express gratitude without a vital faith in God.

Gracious gratitude recognizes the character, goodness, love, power, and excellencies of God. It is not dependent on any gifts or enjoyments He has graciously given to you. 

You can express your gratefulness to God no matter what you are experiencing.

Whether you are having a good day or a bad day.
Whether the daily news is upbeat or overwhelming.
Whether we’re entirely healthy or facing a terminal diagnosis. 

This kind of gratitude is only discovered by grace that comes from God through Jesus. It is a true mark of the Holy Spirit working in a widow’s life. 

Gracious gratitude will enable you to face anything with the awareness that God is profoundly involved in your life and circumstances.  

Why? 

Because He has made you a special object of His love.

Jonathan Edwards died as a result of the smallpox vaccination.

His widow, Sarah, wrote to their daughter, “What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud.”

Wow! What honesty. There’s no pretending that everything is ok.

Jonathan Edwards death was not random. He was not taken from his family by chance. It was the overruling sovereignty of God that determined the right time to bring him home to his eternal reward.


Sarah continued in her letter to her daughters, “But my God lives; and he has my heart … We are all given to God: and there I am, and love to be.”

When you are grieving after the death of your husband, you probably won’t be able to say words like those from natural gratitude.

Because natural gratitude cannot help you with those kinds of devastating losses. 
 This kind of thinking can only arise from gracious gratitude. 


You are on a challenging grief journey since your husband died. It is difficult and heartbreaking at the moment.

But in those moments, you can cling to God’s love and choose to trust God’s goodness, expressed most clearly through what Jesus accomplished on the cross and because God resurrected Him from the dead. 

Then, even in the darkest hours, you can know the joy of His presence and have cause to give thanks to Him. 


There is strength, dignity, and worship in being able to say, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

“Being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”   Colossians 1:11-12 

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