“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4 (NIV)
As I pictured Jesus delivering the sermon of the Beatitudes on the Mount, I couldn’t help wonder if there were parents from Bethlehem in the crowd… parents who would have looked at Jesus and be reminded of the sons that Herod murdered when Christ was an infant… the ache in their hearts that continued years after the massacre of young boys ordered to eliminate any threat to the throne…
I feel certain that throughout His life on earth Jesus would have encountered parents who lost their sons during that massacre… He would have looked into their eyes, and seen the emptiness and pain that still crushed their hearts. As a mother, I cannot think of anything in this world more painful and utterly devastating than losing a child… It makes me wonder if the promise of Matthew 5:4 was offered first as an invitation for these parents to find healing.
Losing a loved one is one of the deepest hurts we endure in life. Yet, life is filled with many other painful, even if less intense, experiences that leave us hurting and processing loss… Recently, I made a difficult, life changing decision to resign from my job of more than 11 years. Though I made the decision after much prayer and deliberation, that did not prevent me from feeling a sense of panic and loss. For weeks after my resignation, I was unable to conceptualize a new future. Even in my sleep, my dreams seemed empty. I did not understand what I was going through or why I was feeling the way I did. Many of my feelings of accomplishment and purposefulness were wrapped up in that job and leaving it left a huge void in me. I am thankful I was able to talk about what I was experiencing and eventually understand that I was going through a grieving process. I was able to mourn the loss of what that job was in my life and I am thankful that I am receiving God’s comfort that is helping me to open up to the possibilities He has planned for me.
As hard as losing a job is, it can still pale in comparison to losing a child or loved one. But what I learnt through reflecting on Matthew 5:4 is that Jesus’ love for us reaches us wherever we are in the spectrum of pain. Acknowledging the loss we feel is a key part of the mourning process. And the truth is, some pain might always be in our hearts here on this earth. We may never understand it. But mourning brings us to a place of receiving His comfort… and eventually healing as we move forward into the future He calls us to, into a new morning...
Are you at a place of loss and grief? The feelings that you are processing are normal and in need of expression. Professional counseling, coaching, grief-share groups and other forms of individual/group help can start you on the road from mourning to morning. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you need some help.
Jesus Lifts will be conducting a 4-week guided tour of various Mindfulness practices. The four sessions will last 15 minutes each from 12.00 to 12.15 pm CST on August 8, 15, 22 and 29. Join us using this Zoom link.