Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Grief is all around us. We can turn on the news and find it blasting through our screens. Houston is going through an inexplicably amount of pain through this natural disaster. Lives are completely flipped upside down. Loved ones are lost. Homes are ruined. And some are left with absolutely nothing. Tragedy has struck.
Unfortunately, we cannot escape grief. Jesus actually promises that we will experience trouble, but we can take courage because of what He has done. John 16:33
If you haven’t read Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko, then you are missing out on life-changing encouragement. Levi lost his 4 year old daughter to an asthma attack right before Christmas. Even as a woman who has not carried any child of my own, my biggest fear is to lose one of them (and I don’t even know them yet). I can’t imagine the pain and suffering that family endured and is still enduring. Levi explains it like this…
“When your heart is broken, you don’t know where to go. Colors lose their brightness, and the world seems gray. The ground is unsteady, and the food tastes like ash. Your stomach flutters in a free fall that doesn’t stop. Your fists ball up, but there’s nothing to fight. A screaming, heaving, sinking panic rises in your chest. It can’t be outrun, won’t be shut down, and refuses to be put out.” (page 42)
I would venture to guess that there still isn’t enough words to really explain the type of brokenness they felt in those moments. As you read this, I’m sure all of you can find a moment in your life when grief struck you in the back of the head, and there was nothing you could do about it.
Fortunately, his book doesn’t stop there. In fact, he is only at the beginning of his story. The reason he can still write 143 more pages is because of the comfort he received from his Savior. The Bible is very clear that Jesus was a Man of sorrows; acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3) In other words, he was familiar with grief, mourning, loss, sadness, in all senses of those words. We are not alone.
But, Jesus doesn’t stay in His state of grief forever because we know there was a colossal victory on the cross that gives us what we need most: hope.
When we see the word hope, we might not think of it in terms of how the Bible describes it. I read a definition that I feel like explains it perfectly. “To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.”
My favorite word in the definition was “expect”. That word can be chained together with faith in my eyes. It reminded me of a verse in Hebrews. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith; confidence; hope; assurance; expect. All these words tie together to bring us comfort when we are in the midst of mourning. We have faith that our Lord has plans that give us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) We have confidence that our sins are forgiven (1 John 1:9) and Heaven is waiting for us (2 Corinthians 5:8). We have assurance that the Lord sent us a Helper, so we are not alone and gain strength as we wait on Him. (Psalm 27:14 and John 14:16) We can expect our God to work out all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
With these promises, we can holdfast to the Lord and rest. The truth is, “your worst day with God is better than your best day without Him.” (Ben Courson) And how blessed are those who draw near to Him and are comforted by Jesus.
For He is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)