Years ago, the sudden and unexpected death of the father of a young family rocked our family. I couldn’t help but observe the grief etched into the faces of the deceased man’s father and son as they bravely marched, hand in hand, down the funeral aisle.
His wife, on the other hand, modeled strength and composure as she greeted each visitor. She presided over the afternoon with apparent ease.
A few years later, she approached me after I’d spoken on depression. She explained how a year after her husband’s death she’d emotionally crashed. But she’d finally given herself permission to grieve and was on the road to wholeness.
We grieve in various ways. But denying our sorrow or burying it under responsibility distances us from God’s comfort. Jesus’ words on mourning in Matthew 5:4 provide important wisdom for those who grieve.
Embrace Your Loss
- Those who mourn will be comforted:
Comfort comes to those who mourn. No mourning, no comfort. Acknowledging our pain allows us to receive solace from the Lord and His people. Insulating ourselves from grief isolates us and extends our suffering instead of shortening it.
- Those who mourn are blessed:
Jesus said those who mourn are blessed. Besides receiving comfort, we know wisdom is found in the house of mourning (Eccles. 7:2-4). And the fellowship of His suffering can only be experienced in our own pain (Phil. 3:10).
Weep with Those Who Weep
So how do we support those experiencing great loss? In Romans 12:15 the Apostle Paul said to “Weep with those who weep.” That tells us not to minimize someone’s loss or rush them through their sorrow. Instead, we grieve with them.
Someone said, “A grief shared is halved.” That has certainly been true for me. But I’ve also found that when I enter someone’s pain with them, even if it’s only for a moment, I too am blessed.
“Blessed are those who mourn” certainly applies to those who grieve their own losses. But could it also apply to those who mourn with others in their losses?“Blessed are those who mourn” certainly applies to those who grieve their own losses. But could it also apply to those who mourn with others in their losses? #ChristianDevotion, #grief Click To Tweet
This poem by Robert Browning Hamilton expresses one of the blessings that comes to those who mourn.
Along the Road
I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow;
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.”
― Robert Browning Hamilton
Sorrow is not an enemy to be shunned. Instead of running from grief we do better to lean in and walk through holding God’s hand. We will be wiser and more compassionate because of the experience. And we’ll know Jesus better.
Question: What benefit do you think comes from feeling or expressing sorrow? Or what do we miss if we avoid our grief?
Blog: Grief Shared Is Halved
Booklet: Experiencing Grief
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