blessings on the mourners
Read John 11:17-37. Notice the tears. Who cries, and why do they cry?
How do you sense God wanting to meet you in your deep sadness? Where do you sense that God is wanting you to engage the deep sadness in your world?
A man with whom I attended college committed suicide recently. He killed himself on the 3-year anniversary of the day his wife died. He left behind a video in which he told how heartbroken he had been and of the many ways he had attempted to assuage his sorrow. I’m sad for my friend. I’m sorry for his pain and loneliness. And I’m sorry he did not turn to God and receive His healing love.
I wish my friend had pondered Jesus’ words: “God blesses those who mourn” (Matthew 5:4). Many in our world know deep sadness. I recently read stories of a third world country where fathers rent out their 12- and 13-year-old daughters by the night. Most certainly these girls are mourners. A mum receives a call that her son has been killed in a biking accident. A daughter sits at her father’s hospital bed. A single mom works hours and collapses at the end of each day. Mourners all.
Some of us are mourners for others. The gospel has opened our eyes, and we weep over the agony of this world—all the hunger and desperation. We weep and sometimes we simply can’t stop crying. Sometimes people around us tell us to cheer up, grow up and stop feeling the pain so intensely. Perhaps we think we’re damaged goods because all we do is grieve with the grieving. And in precisely that place the kingdom of God arrives in surprising power and says, Blessed!
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “[Believers in Jesus] do not go out of their way to look for suffering, or try to contract out of it by adopting an attitude of contempt and disdain. They simply bear the suffering which comes their way as they try to follow Jesus Christ, and bear [this suffering] for His sake.”
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 17:24-18:6
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