Joy comes in the mo(u)rning

Matthew 5

Mourning is exhausting. The emotional toll it takes seems to be much greater than any physical task. Perhaps it is because physical work has an end in sight and a finished product. But mourning? It feels like wave after wave of grief without end.

Mourning is a time when we need to draw in to the Lord. Whatever its source, mourning and lament have a role to play in healing and restoration, even when it feels impossible.

But God promises comfort. If mourning is death by a thousand small cuts, healing is restoration to life by two thousand small moments. It may be a child’s laugh, a pause by a river, the smell of summer grass or winter’s fresh bread. We need to be mindful of the moments in our mourning so we recognize the hand of God in the middle.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

Blessed are they who mourn

Matthew 5:5

Mourning is more than sadness. It is the gut-wrenching wail of devastation and loss. It is the same Greek word used is Revelation 18 when Babylon falls and the people realize there is nothing left of the great city. Mourning is the attitude of the prodigal, the repentance of Job, and the cry of David at his lowest moment in life (Luke 15, Job 42, Psalm 51).

Mourning is a present and active response to sin, and not just our individual sins, but over the ramifications of human sin on those who live in this world without hope. Mourning laments over the divisions in the Church, the oppressive treatment by one person or group over another, and the chaos that comes from human nature run amok.

Jesus offers consolation to mourners, telling them that they will be comforted. Mourning is not done in vain when it causes us to turn to the One who is the Comforter.