Participants: John Bradshaw (Host), Mike Tucker
Series Code: IIW
Program Code: IIW001449A
01:50 JB: This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw.
01:52 Thanks for joining me. We both know that there are some things
01:55 in life that we are going to experience no matter what.
01:58 And some of those experiences we wouldn't choose to experience
02:02 if we had a choice. But many of them, we don't have a choice.
02:05 One of them is grief. Grief hurts, it's painful, and you're
02:12 going to experience sooner or later. That's just the way life
02:16 goes. But what is grief, and how do we deal with grief, and what
02:20 should a person do --what could a person do, when grief strikes
02:24 close to home? Well, I'm blessed to have with me in the studio
02:27 today a good friend, Mike Tucker. Pastor Mike Tucker who's
02:31 the speaker and director of Faith for Today, a Christian
02:34 ministry. You may well have seen Pastor Tucker hosting Lifestyle
02:38 Magazine or leading out in one of his "Mad About Marriage"
02:42 Seminars. Mike Tucker, thanks for joining me today.
02:44 Mike Tucker: It is a joy to be here with you, John. Thank you.
02:47 JB: I'm going to start at the beginning. What's grief?
02:50 How do we define that?
02:51 MT: Grief is an emotional, psychological, physical reaction
02:55 to any experience of loss. It can be loss through death, loss
02:59 of a job, loss of a body part --anything else in your life
03:02 that is significant, there may be a grief response to it.
03:06 JB: Now, one of the reasons I'm speaking with you is because
03:08 you're a trained counselor. MT: Um-hmm. JB: A licensed marriage
03:12 therapist, family expert. And you have some experience with
03:16 grief as well, and we're going to talk about that in just a
03:18 moment. Grief is just one of those things that everybody is
03:22 going to experience. MT: Everyone. You don't get out of
03:24 life without grief. And most of your viewers have already had
03:28 some experience with grief. To what degree? That varies
03:32 according to life experiences. But everyone gets it. Everyone
03:35 has it. Some people think that Christians shouldn't grieve.
03:38 That's just a misnomer. You have to grieve. Everyone grieves.
03:41 JB: Now, there are certain things that you might ought
03:43 to do when grief comes. MT: Yeah. JB: We'll talk about
03:45 those soon. MT: Sure. JB: So before we explain it.
03:49 There's probably ways you can equip yourself
03:50 to deal with grief before it comes. MT: Um-hmm.
03:53 JB: Okay. MT: Yeah, especially if you see a loss
03:56 coming, you can engage in what we call anticipatory grief:
03:59 being willing to go ahead and experience those tears, and
04:02 trying to anticipate what life will be like without them. But I
04:05 think beyond that is a matter of keeping relationships healthy,
04:09 and keeping yourself personally health: physically fit, with
04:12 positive relationships and a positive faith. But having an
04:16 appropriate picture of the nature of God, his personality,
04:19 his character --what he has promised you, what he has not
04:22 promised you --will actually help prepare you for grief.
04:25 JB: Okay, now, so you can grieve about different things. MT: Yeah
04:27 JB: I could, I could lose a cherished possession. MT: Yes.
04:31 JB: I can grieve that. MT: Um-hmm. JB: Okay, what are the
04:35 inappropriate ways to deal with grief? What are the grief
04:38 mistakes that people often make? MT: Some people try to stuff it
04:42 or ignore it, act like it's not there. They will deny it. Other
04:47 people will try to out-medicate it, out-drink it, something of
04:52 that nature. Some people will try to outwork it. They just
04:55 won't give expression to the pain by crying. They won't allow
04:59 themselves to do those things. Those are all inappropriate
05:01 ways. Another inappropriate way would be to build a shrine to,
05:05 to that which is lost. You know, sometimes people build a shrine
05:09 in their home to a person who's died, and for years on, no one
05:13 can touch that. You know, to do something like that temporarily
05:15 may be understandable. But when you do this and it lasts for
05:19 years, that can be another inappropriate way to deal with
05:22 it. But just a refusal to deal with the pain, to give
05:25 expression through tears, through talking --those are all
05:28 inappropriate responses. JB: As a pastor I speak from time to
05:30 time with people who will tell me, "Oh, I'm doing fine."
05:33 MT: Yeah. JB: Or, or they'll tell me, "I'm not doing
05:36 fine." I'll dig a little deeper and... MT: Um-hmm.
05:38 JB: ...you know, "It's been six weeks since my loved one died,
05:41 and I find myself still weeping, and I just wish I was...."
05:45 That's just not realistic, is it?
05:46 MT: No, it's not. The average recovery time for a
05:48 significant loss is one to two years, although you can grieve
05:51 actively for up to five years and not be pathological with
05:54 that grief. And even when we talk about recovery, that
05:57 doesn't mean that you won't ever cry again. It doesn't mean you
05:59 won't miss that person again. That will be a part of your
06:02 experience for the rest of your life, especially with a
06:05 significant loss. But it may mean that you come to the point
06:08 where it's not the first thing on your mind every morning when
06:10 you wake up, and the last thing you think about before you go to
06:12 bed, when you finally get to that point of recovery, so that
06:16 you can function more normally. JB: I think it's important for
06:18 people to know what's normal... MT: Yeah. JB: ...what's
06:20 acceptable, so that they don't think they have a problem they
06:23 don't have. I remember asking my wife's grandmother --Grandma was
06:30 around 80 at the time, and I discovered that she'd had a baby
06:35 girl. She raised three or four boys. I should know whether it's
06:38 three or four, shouldn't I? MT: [Laughs] JB: And she gave birth
06:42 to a little girl who died very, very young, as an infant. And so
06:46 this loss that she'd experience had been about 60 years before,
06:51 55 to 60 years before. And I said to her, "Grandma, you had a
06:56 daughter. I never knew that." And she said, "Yes, I -" and
07:01 just from out of nowhere, her voice choked and tears came.
07:04 MT: Yeah, yes. JB: Fifty-five to sixty years later, she was
07:07 grieving a loss. MT: Um-hmm. JB: That's normal, isn't it?
07:10 MT: Yes, it is normal. There's nothing wrong with that. Because
07:13 this is an impactful experience for your life. You never get
07:17 over, truly, the loss. You, you may be more comfortable with it;
07:21 you may be able to function again. But you may have tears
07:24 over this loss for the rest of your life. JB: Let's say
07:26 somebody is a secretary working in an office situation. MT: Yeah
07:29 JB: Well, it doesn't have to be a secretary. It could be a
07:31 departmental director. Or a guy works in a factory.
07:34 MT: Uh-huh. JB: So you're surrounded by
07:36 people. You've got to go back to life. You're putting in your
07:39 eight to ten hours a day. MT: Um-hmm.
07:40 JB: But grief is just all over you, and grief begs expression.
07:48 What's the right thing for people to do?
07:49 MT: Well, the right thing for you to do if you're the person
07:52 experiencing this is to recognize that your tears are
07:54 going to come, and that's okay. And when they come, don't make
07:57 an apology for them. Just allow it to happen. And if the people
08:00 around you are savvy and they are, they are understanding,
08:04 then they're going to accept that, and it's going to be
08:06 normal. So I would say, make sure that you give yourself
08:10 ample room for, for mistakes. You make sure you double-check
08:13 your work. Take frequent breaks if possible. Um, and then don't
08:18 be afraid to give expression to the pain. Don't be afraid to
08:20 cry, and don't be afraid to tell the stories, because that's all
08:24 a part of the process. JB: So, to experience grief and to
08:28 internalize grief, to express grief, is all appropriate and,
08:32 and fine. MT: It is. JB: But when's a person going too far?
08:36 I know, this may, it's going to differ from person to person.
08:40 MT: It will. JB: And, uh, you get the very unthinking people
08:44 who say, "Are you not over that already? It's been six months."
08:47 MT: Yeah. JB: That's the last thing you want to say to a
08:49 person. When is expressing grief become --when does that become
08:53 too much? MT: To give a timeline or a specific answer to that is
08:56 difficult. But there comes a time when grief no longer
08:59 becomes an expression of your pain, but becomes a monument to
09:02 self-pity. Sometimes we can like the negative attention we get
09:06 from the expression of pain. And again, that may not happen the
09:09 first year. It may not happen until after that. But there
09:13 comes a time when you realize that you, you're doing nothing
09:16 but grieving. And you're telling the stories; you're crying with
09:19 every event. Everything becomes about your loss. That becomes
09:22 very selfish and it becomes rather myopic. And so, to learn
09:26 that there are appropriate times to give expression to this, and
09:28 there comes the time when you actually have to say goodbye to
09:32 the relationship that used to be, and withdraw that emotional
09:35 energy, and no longer make this a monument to you and to your
09:39 self-pity, but, instead, begin to celebrate the life that was,
09:42 and celebrate the things that you had. Again, that's going to
09:46 vary for every person, but there does come a time when it's
09:48 appropriate to do that. JB: Now, you're speaking to this
09:51 subject... MT: Yes. JB: ...from first-hand experience.
09:54 MT: Absolutely. JB: We're going to talk about that in just a
09:56 moment. More with Pastor Mike Tucker and grief when we
10:00 come back. Don't go away.
10:08 Grief. Sadly, it's an inevitable part of life. There's no
10:12 escaping loss in this world and the pain that comes along
10:15 with it. Grief can be disabling, intense and debilitating. So
10:19 make sure you get your free copy of "Coping with Grief" by
10:21 John Bradshaw. There is a way through life's
10:24 toughest times. Learn how you or someone you care about can cope
10:28 with grief. Discover principles that will show you how to return
10:31 to a life full of joy and hope. Please, don't let grief be any
10:36 more difficult than it has to be. When the burdens of loss
10:39 seem to be more than you can handle, there is a way you can
10:41 cope with grief. To receive the book "Coping with Grief," call
10:45 right now 1-800-253-3000. There's absolutely no cost or
10:50 obligation, and our lines are open 24 hours a day. If the
10:53 lines are busy, please try again. We'll send
10:57 "Coping with Grief" free to any address in North America. Call
11:00 1-800-253-3000, or you can write to us at It Is Written,
11:05 P O Box 6, Chattanooga,TN, 37401. To download a free
11:10 electronic version of "Coping with Grief," please visit us
11:13 online at ItIsWritten.com. To get your free copy of
11:18 "Coping with Grief," call right now, 1-800-253-3000.
11:22 JB: It Is Written is a faith - based ministry, and your
11:26 support makes it possible for us to share God's good news with
11:29 the world. Your tax-deductible gift can be sent to the address
11:33 on your screen, or through our website at ItIsWritten.com.
11:37 Thank you for your continued prayerful support.
11:43 JB: This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for
11:46 joining me today. My guest is Pastor Mike Tucker from
11:49 Faith for Today. Mike, we've been talking for a few moments
11:52 about grief. We alluded to your personal experience with grief.
11:56 MT: Um-hmm. JB: Tell me more about that.
11:57 MT: Recently I've had the biggest loss of my life.
12:01 My wife of forty years, Gayle Tucker, passed away. You know,
12:06 we were partners in ministry. Uh, we had worked together as
12:11 pastors and in television ministry for forty years.
12:14 Everything I did was intricately involved with her. JB: It wasn't
12:18 really a matter of Mike Tucker. MT: No. JB: It was Mike and
12:21 Gayle. MT: Mike and Gayle. JB: Mike and Gayle. Mike and Gayle.
12:23 MT: Mike and Gayle. Everything we did. Television, marriage
12:26 seminars, pastoral ministries. She was a pastor as well. So
12:29 every aspect of my life was intricately involved with her.
12:32 She was my very best friend. We were traveling all over the, the
12:35 world doing marriage seminars, among other things. And we were
12:38 in Vancouver, British Columbia, when her right hand started to
12:41 go numb. She thought she had slept on it wrong. But by
12:46 Saturday afternoon when we were doing a marriage presentation,
12:49 her right hand would work so poorly that she had to hold the
12:51 microphone in her left hand for three and a half hours making
12:54 the presentation, because she knew it would fall to the floor
12:56 if she held it in the right. I said, "This is wrong, we got,
12:58 I've got to get you to the hospital." She said, "Wait till
13:00 we get back in the country, tomorrow," which would be March
13:03 6. I said, "Okay." So we flew to Dallas, and when we landed, I
13:08 said, "Now, which hospital do you want me to take you to,
13:10 because you're not going home." And so she told me which
13:13 hospital, I took her there, and immediately they diagnosed
13:16 strokes. When is insane to me, because the woman was so active.
13:19 She was not overweight, no cholesterol. I mean, no risk
13:23 factor for stroke. JB: The picture of health.
13:25 MT: Absolutely. She played volleyball every week with a
13:28 group of ladies she'd play volleyball with for over 20
13:30 years. And it took another week and a half of testing to figure
13:33 out that she had stage four pancreatic cancer that had
13:36 already metastasized to her liver. And the liver, one of the
13:41 side effects of liver cancer, can be a condition they call
13:43 "sticky blood," which means it was creating blood clots in her
13:46 body, and when those broke apart it went to the brain, and that's
13:49 where the strokes came from. The stroke was a symptom. She was
13:52 going to die of pancreatic cancer. JB: Now, if you don't
13:56 mind. MT: Please. JB: She was going to die. MT: Yes. JB:
13:59 Pancreatic cancer typically is a one-way street. MT: Yes, it is.
14:02 JB: But... MT: Yeah. JB: People can be healed. MT: Yes. JB: God
14:06 is a great God. MT: Yes. JB: You know God well. MT: Absolutely.
14:10 JB: You have for many years. MT: Um-hmm. JB: But you felt then
14:13 --how did you process that? Were you living on hope, were praying
14:15 for her to be healed, or how quickly did you get to
14:19 resignation, I think we're going to lose her? MT: You know, I, I
14:23 was realistic enough to realize that unless God performed a
14:26 miracle, I was going to lose my wife. And she knew that as well.
14:30 I've worked as a chaplain in hospitals for years. I've done,
14:34 I've seen enough of this. I've worked with hospice patients. I
14:36 know, and she knew as well, that unless God intervened, we were
14:41 going to lose her. And she was ready. She was, she was okay
14:45 with that. She wanted to be healed. We had an anointing
14:47 service, as is called for in James. And we, we had a prayer
14:51 for healing, believing fully that God could heal her. Because
14:54 I, like you, have seen miraculous healing. JB: Sure
14:57 And so I knew that God was capable. But I also know, and
15:00 knew, that God might say no. At least, right now. Every prayer
15:05 for healing is answered yes. Sometimes immediately.
15:08 Sometimes over time with prayer and medicine and surgery. And
15:11 sometimes the healing will take place resurrection.
15:13 JB: That's right. MT: We asked for option
15:15 A or B, but we're willing to accept option C.
15:18 And so yes, I knew that this was a real
15:21 possibility, and she did too. So we prepared for the worst while
15:24 hoping for the best. JB: You said Gayle was okay with that.
15:28 MT: Yeah. JB: Tell me, if you wouldn't mind, what she went
15:32 through. There's your wife of 40 years, someone--everyone who
15:36 knew her, loved her. So you weren't alone in that. MT: Yeah.
15:40 JB: How does a person take that kind of news? Gayle at stage 4
15:44 pancreatic cancer. It's metastasized. We know the
15:46 chances are about this good. MT: Yeah, yeah. JB: How does a
15:49 person deal with that? MT: You know, obviously it was a big
15:52 blow to her. And it took her a while to just kind of digest
15:56 this. And when she began to realize it, I asked her, "Are
15:59 you angry? Are you frightened?" She said, "No." She said, "I've
16:03 had sixty years of immaculate health." And she had. I mean,
16:06 she was vibrate and healthy and active. And she said, "Some
16:10 people never get a day. I've had forty years of a wonderful
16:13 marriage, and some people never know that. I've had over forty
16:16 years of exciting ministry, fulfilling ministry. I've got
16:19 children and grandchildren and extended family and friends. And
16:22 some people never know any of that. For me to be angry that
16:25 that only lasted sixty years instead of eighty seems to be
16:28 somewhat ungrateful, and I'm not going to be ungrateful to my
16:31 Lord. I just thank him for what I've had." JB: Amen. MT: That
16:34 was her attitude. JB: Wow. MT: And she got that attitude early
16:37 on. She never experienced fear, because she knew her heart was
16:40 right with Jesus. She never experienced anger, because she
16:44 was grateful for what she'd had. And amazingly, I had already had
16:48 the same thoughts --which is strange for me, because,
16:51 truthfully, anger has always been my go-to emotion. But I'd
16:54 gone through a previous loss, a financial and a career loss, at
16:58 an early point. We lost our house. We lost our savings. I
17:01 thought I'd lost my career. I thought it was all over. And I
17:04 hadn't done anything. And my response was anger. Because at
17:07 the time I was giving 30 percent of my gross income to the
17:10 church. I was volunteering as a pastor while working in private
17:13 business. All sorts of exciting things were happening with the
17:16 church. It was growing like crazy. And my anger was, "God,
17:19 what did you want? Forty percent? I don't get it." I
17:22 thought because of my hard labor, my generosity, the
17:26 success of the ministry, that God owed me better than what he
17:29 gave me. And when I realized that anger comes when we think
17:32 we're getting less from God than what he owes us, then I began to
17:36 realize that I had sinned in my life by expecting something from
17:40 God he'd never promised. I confessed that to him, and he
17:43 forgave me. And I promised, by God's grace, I would make sure
17:46 my lived theology would be congruent with my expressed or
17:53 my preached theology. And that happened. So that when Gayle got
17:57 sick, I realized, I've had a blessing that was beyond what
18:00 most people ever experience. JB:So you weren't experiencing
18:03 anger either. MT: No anger either. In fact, it's been six
18:06 months since her death, and I'm still not angry. JB: Forty years
18:08 of marriage. MT: Yeah. JB: A catastrophic loss. MT: Yes.
18:13 JB: No anger. MT: No anger. There's incredible pain. JB:Sure
18:17 There's incredible emptiness and loneliness. There's, there's, I
18:22 cry at unexpected times. But no anger. Because God has not
18:25 shortchanged me one iota. He has given me more than what he ever
18:29 promised me. And so since he has given me more than what he
18:33 promised, I have no reason for anger, because most people never
18:36 experience what I've had. I celebrate what I've had. I miss
18:40 what I've had. But I'm not angry with God. JB: There's more.
18:44 We're going to come back to the story we began in just a moment.
18:46 Pastor Mike Tucker, we're dealing today with grief
18:50 --something we all must experience, and something that,
18:54 if it hasn't come near you, it will. Today's program very
18:58 important. We'll be back with more in just a moment.
19:02 "Every Word" is a one-minute, Bible-based daily devotional
19:05 presented by Pastor John Bradshaw and designed especially
19:08 for busy people like you. Recieve a daily spiritual boost.
19:12 Watch "Every Word."
19:19 JB: It's an enormous shame when
19:20 people lose hope in God. But it happens. And it's happened to
19:24 some outstanding people. Think about John the Baptist and his
19:27 temporary discouragement. The cousin of Jesus had boldly
19:31 proclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of
19:34 the world." But one day he sent some of his disciples to ask
19:37 Jesus, "Are you the coming one, or do we look for another?"
19:41 That's Matthew 11, verse 3. John had been convinced. But now he's
19:44 in prison, and Jesus, who he believed to be the Messiah,
19:47 hadn't got the Romans out of Israel, and hadn't got John out
19:51 of prison. John knew Jesus was the Messiah, but he let go of
19:56 faith and started to make judgments by what he could see.
19:59 John couldn't see too well. Jesus was the Messiah, still is.
20:03 And our difficult circumstances won't ever change that. I'm John
20:07 Bradshaw for It Is Written. Let's live today by every word."
20:15 JB: Thanks for joining me today on It Is Written. I'm
20:18 John Bradshaw. My guest today, from Faith for Today, Pastor
20:21 Mike Tucker. Mike, we're talking about your own experience with
20:24 grief. MT: Um-hmm. JB: A couple of moments ago you shared how
20:28 Gayle was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. We got about
20:32 to the place where she was accepting of this diagnosis and
20:37 ready for whatever God had for her. So what happened next?
20:40 MT: Well, you know, we got the diagnosis March 16 of 2016.
20:44 First symptoms March 3 to March 6, and then the diagnosis March
20:48 16. And so we began to examine our options. We were praying for
20:53 healing. But she wanted to be home. And so we took her home.
20:58 Started with home health, and eventually went to hospice when
21:00 it was appropriate. But basically, she wanted to get as
21:04 strong as she could and enjoy the time she had with her
21:06 family. So we started calling in family members. We had to limit
21:10 the number of friend visits because we have so many in the
21:13 area, and it was draining for her. JB: Sure. MT: And so, so
21:16 many I wanted to bring in, but I couldn't. But she just started
21:20 spending her days making sure that things were right between
21:22 her and the Lord, and that she spent as much time with her
21:25 children and grandchildren and siblings and her mother as
21:29 possible. And so there were days of joy and days of laughter. And
21:33 she entered into a coma on April 8, and then passed away April 10
21:38 She was, her daughters were by her side. I was with, with
21:42 her. One of the, the sisters were with her. She passed
21:46 peacefully while we were praying with her and touching her and
21:49 loving on her. And she fell asleep in Jesus on April 10 in
21:52 the afternoon, about 5:47 p.m. JB: Now, the first symptoms.
21:59 MT: Yeah. JB: March 3. MT: March 3, when her hand went
22:03 numb. JB: And then goodbye. MT: April 10. JB: Six weeks.
22:08 MT: Yeah. JB: There are couple of
22:12 questions I could ask at once. One is, that's really quick.
22:17 MT: Very quick. JB: From having your ministry
22:18 partner, your life partner, you're traveling together,
22:19 you're doing God's work. And she's, evidently, in full
22:22 health. MT: Full health. JB: Six weeks later she's gone.
22:25 MT: Yeah. JB: At the same time, Mike, that's not quick. Quick is
22:29 hit by a bus. MT: Yeah, yeah. JB: That's quick. MT: Yeah.
22:33 JB: So I wonder if you can talk with me about, about the
22:36 emotions that you experienced and how you dealt with, or how
22:39 you're dealing with... MT: Um-hmm.
22:40 JB: ...uh, losing a perfectly health wife, just like that.
22:45 Where does that take you? How do you wrestle with that?
22:48 MT: I wanted to be as strong as I could
22:50 around her. But I, I wept like crazy. Just trying to get my
22:54 mind around, anticipating what it was going to be like without
22:56 her, and just accepting the reality that unless Jesus
22:59 intervened, I was going to lose her. The things that I've been
23:02 trying to do is, is to think. When the thoughts come, I think
23:06 them fully. I weep when the, when the tears come. I talk
23:10 about it, I, I share my feelings with other people. I write about
23:14 it. Um, I pray about it. Those things are helpful. The other
23:18 thing I do is I walk. When I'm home, I walk anywhere from eight
23:21 to twelve miles a day. Those are prayer time for me, and it's
23:24 thinking time. It gives me the opportunity to focus on nothing
23:27 more than, than my loss and my God and, and my prayer time. And
23:32 those things have helped me. Talking with my family, talking
23:35 with friends, telling the stories over and over again. Not
23:38 just the stories of her loss and the death, but the stories of
23:41 our life together. JB: Sure. MT: Of meeting her, the first date,
23:45 you know, and the proposal. Telling those stories over and
23:49 over again are important to me. And then the stories of ministry
23:52 together, the different places we've been, the decisions for
23:56 Christ we've witnesses. Those are the things that are helping
23:58 me. And then being close to my family, just holding onto my
24:02 daughters, my grandchildren, and helping them grieve as well.
24:04 Those are the activities. But before Gayle died, she wrote a
24:09 letter to each of our children and to our two grandchildren. It
24:12 was a letter to be given to them about six weeks after the death.
24:16 By write I mean she dictated and I had to type, because her hand
24:18 didn't work and she had lost her sight by the end. And after she
24:22 finished that, she said, "I need to write a letter to you." I
24:24 said, "Well, we have no one to dictate that to. I mean,
24:26 basically, you're stuck. And what are you going to say to me
24:28 you haven't said every day for forty years anyway?" She said,
24:31 "You may be right." I said, "So, for argument's sake, what would
24:34 you say?" She said, "There's nothing to regret. We had a
24:38 great life together. Don't, don't beat yourself up for any
24:40 mistakes. No regrets. That's number one." And number two, she
24:44 said, "Live our life." That's what she wanted for me. Our life
24:48 has been faith, family and ministry. That's who we are,
24:54 that's what we've done. JB: I want to ask you this. No
24:57 regrets. MT: Yeah. JB: Easy to say. MT: Oh, yeah. JB: Easy to
25:00 say, no regrets. Hey, Mike, when I'm gone, have no regrets.
25:03 MT: Yeah. JB: Really? MT: Yeah. JB: Do you have any regrets?
25:06 MT: I really don't. You know, I've made mistakes. JB: Sure.
25:09 MT: I haven't been the perfect husband. But every time I think
25:11 of those things, I remember what she said. No regrets. That means
25:14 that she had forgiven me for any mistake, just as I've forgiven
25:17 her. JB: I think it's important to be able to look back on
25:19 mistakes made... MT: Yeah. JB: ...within the context. We're
25:21 human, we're going to make mistakes. MT: Yeah, absolutely.
25:23 She had an amazing memory. She could forget every mistake I
25:26 ever made. So why would I beat myself up over something that
25:30 she had forgiven me for? God has forgiven me, and he says he
25:33 remembers my sins no more. So for me to remember it and bring
25:37 it up seems foolhardy. JB: What I believe is that even when you
25:40 have some kind of catastrophe in your life, if you're a believer
25:44 in God, you can still see God's hand. MT: Yeah. JB: Right? Is
25:47 that right? MT: Yeah. JB: Did you see God's hand through this
25:50 process. MT: Yes, I did. JB: How do you see God's hand in what's
25:54 a disaster? MT: Yeah. The first place I see it is in the way she
25:58 died. She died as she lived. And when people saw the congruence
26:01 between what she lived and how she died, they were brought to
26:05 faith. Another way that I see this is that, even though we've
26:08 had a close-knit family, this has brought us even closer
26:11 together. My daughters and I are tight. And I, I don't make
26:16 decisions without them. But another thing is that as I've
26:19 given expression to my pain. I've written about it. I've
26:22 shared it openly from the pulpit. And when they see me
26:25 doing this, it gives them courage and gives them hope.
26:27 Those are some of the, just a few of the ways that I see God's
26:32 hand in this. JB: We just have a moment. Someone's experiencing
26:36 grief... MT: Yeah. JB: ...and it just seems like the end.
26:40 MT: Yeah. JB: Now, very obviously, one can go on,
26:46 because for six thousand years of human history people have...
26:48 MT: We've done so. JB: ...been going on. Yeah.
26:49 MT: We've done so. JB: What do you say
26:50 to that person who's grieving, uh, and just sees
26:55 blackness ahead? How can that person go on? MT: First of all,
26:59 this won't last forever. It will seem like it. But the darkest
27:03 part of it will not last forever. God has promised to be
27:05 a very present help in this time, even though at times he
27:08 seems even further away because of your pain. That's normal.
27:11 He's promised to get you through this. He will. JB: The Bible
27:15 promises us, in Psalm 30 and verse 5, "Weeping may endure for
27:21 a night, but joy comes in the morning." Is that your
27:25 experience? MT: It is. JB: Is there joy? MT: Yes, there's
27:28 still joy. It, it comes now in moments, and at times I see a
27:32 little bit more of it. I see it in my grandchildren; they're 3
27:35 and 5, and when they want to come play with Papa. They miss
27:39 Grammie like crazy and they cry, but they like to play with Papa,
27:42 and I see the joy of life in their eyes. That's joy for me.
27:46 When I preach and I see people respond to a message, that's joy
27:49 to me. When they respond to the television programs, I have joy
27:53 there. I have joy with my daughters. There's still joy in
27:56 life. It's mitigated with the pain, but there's still joy. And
28:01 I know that God has even more joy for me in the future.
28:04 Eventually there'll be more. JB: Pastor Mike Tucker, this has
28:07 been a big deal. Thanks for joining me today.
28:09 MT: My pleasure. JB: Truly appreciate it. Thanks.
28:11 Let's pray together. MT: Sure. JB: Let's pray.
28:13 Our Father in heaven, we're going to be honest with you
28:15 and tell you, we wish there was no such thing
28:17 as grief. We don't like loss. Human beings weren't created to
28:22 grieve. When you created this earth, death wasn't on your
28:26 agenda. [piano in background] JB: But an enemy hath done this.
28:30 We thank you today that the Bible encourages us, "Greater is
28:34 he that is in you than he that is in the world." And so we will
28:38 take our strength in you and trust that, when life's
28:41 difficult circumstances come, you'll get us through; that
28:45 weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
28:49 Thank you, Lord, for allowing Mike to be here today and share
28:52 his experience. Continue to bless him and use him in a
28:55 powerful way to offer hope, and hope in Christ to many. And
29:00 bless us. Friend, if you're going through a difficult
29:02 experience now, would you yield your heart to Jesus? Just pray,
29:07 "Lord, take my heart and make it yours." Let that be your prayer.
29:11 Lord Jesus, take my hand. Give me your peace. Give me faith and
29:16 trust in you always. Lord, we thank you for answering our
29:20 prayer and keeping us close to you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
29:26 Thanks for joining me today. I'm looking to seeing you again next
29:29 time. Until then, remember, "It is written, 'Man shall not live
29:33 by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the
29:38 mouth of God.'"