“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
It seems like we as a society don’t really do well with mourning. We would rather be entertained and amused. Sadness and grief are things that we move past as quickly as possible, and those that don’t are looked upon unfavorably, like “Why can’t they just get over it?”
The Message puts it this way: “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”
How are we to mourn and what are we to mourn for?
I think we mourn not as those who have no hope, but as those who do. Our sadness is a sadness that is based in the hope of a better day yet to come. Our grief is a grief that has joy at its core– joy that whatever we’ve lost will be restored to us a thousand-fold. We mourn knowing that one day we will rejoice and sing– and laugh– over the momentary afflictions that have been far outweighed by an eternal hope of glory.
What do we mourn for? We mourn over the loss of loved ones, because death is certain for every single one of us. We mourn over the wasted lives around us. We mourn over so many hopes we had that were unfulfilled and dreams we had that were dashed against the rocks of reality. We mourn over sin in the world, and what how it mars and wrecks and leaves a ruin in so many lives. We weep for what God in Jesus wept for– that so many will live and die and pass into eternity separated from Him and never knowing what real hope, faith and love look like. They will never know that God had a better, more abundant life in store for them if they would only say yes to Him.
It’s good to mourn for these things, but also to rejoice that all these things will one day end. Jesus has already overcome all the things that cause sadness and grief.
I would like to close this with words from Rich Mullins that may not quite fit, but I loved them so much that I had to add them here:
“It is the living who mourn at a funeral– not the dead. We mourn because the lives of the dead who made our own more lively, and since we are (or had been) so knit together, the loss of another’s strand will eventually cause our own unravelling. Fellowship is the mingling of threads that make up a fabric, and only in a fabric do we have some kind of meaningfulness.”
As always, I believe. Help my unbelief.