Good Grief

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Mourning is a part of life. That’s what Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us. There is a time to laugh and a time to weep. There is a time to dance but also a time to mourn.

You don’t have to choose mourning. It will often choose you. Life is full of gains and losses. To live is at some point to lose, and to lose is to mourn. Live long and we all deal with some kind of loss–loved ones, relationships, marriages, jobs, dreams, hope.

Blessings to you, Jesus says, in all those places of loss, in all those feelings of despair, in all of those times of grief. You are not alone. You are not forgotten. You are not forsaken. God sees your tears. God hears your cries. God remembers his promises. And God brings comfort.

Psalm 34:8 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” As Jesus is preparing to depart to be with the Father, he promises he will send another, the Holy Spirit. He is God’s presence dwelling within us, guiding us, convicting us, but also comforting us. That is one the Spirit’s names, Comforter.

As Christ followers, we are not exempt from grief. What’s more, if we have the compassion of Christ, we can’t help but mourn. Compassion means literally to “suffer with.” As Paul says in Romans 12, we called to be people who mourn with those who mourn. Yet we do not mourn as those without hope. We rest in Christ’s comforting presence today. We rejoice in his renewing presence some day, when “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away…”because he is “making everything new (Rev. 21:4-5)!”

About Bryce Kittinger