Beauty from Ashes

You can grieve and still be hopeful…

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

"What delight comes to you when you wait upon the Lord! For you will find what you long for." - Matthew 5:4 TPT

When someone is grieving, we never think of them as being blessed. Actually most people think quite the opposite, and even those in mourning commonly say “I don’t wish this even on my worst enemy,” because the pain is so real and so deep. The hurt in your heart feels like it will never fade. “Time heals it all,” they say. What if it wasn’t time. What if what made your brokenness whole again was the One who created it. I’m not an expert on healing, but I have experienced grief. I would be bold enough to argue that we all have. Although some may not have lost a loved one physically, last year a lot was stolen from us. We can grieve the loss of “normal”. Some of us lost our joy. Yet, even others haven't found their hope again. It is human to grieve. 

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

Solomon reminds us in this passage that we will experience it all in due time. The popular worship song “Graves into Gardens” says, “You turn mourning to dancing” utilizing this verse. So, what does Jesus mean when he says “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”? Jesus knows that those who mourn, care deeply. Just as God, our Father, mourns after a broken world to repent. “Blessed” in its original language in this passage means “envied”. As in people should be envious of those who mourn. That is how big our blessing is. The Lord is saying those who mourn for those who don’t know Him will draw the Comforter to them. Grief is not new to God or Jesus. Jesus wept and grieved over his friend Lazarus before He raised him from the dead, even though He knew that He was going to resurrect Lazarus. Jesus wept with his friends Mary and Martha. He shared in their grief and pain. Because we don’t have to carry the weight of loss and grief on our own. He is Our Comforter.

The mourning and grieving process looks and feels different for everyone. There’s a lot of shame in the world on how you’re “meant” to grieve. The Spirit of Comparison creeps in to remind us of all the ways we “should” feel and “should” grieve. Grief doesn’t make sense; there’s freedom in knowing that grief isn’t supposed to make sense. It also shouldn’t be our “normal”. If you have lived in a lot of grief, I am genuinely sorry. Living a life for and with Jesus doesn’t mean we will be continuously suffering and waiting for the next shoe to drop. That is not an abundant life or a life of joy and freedom. That’s a life of fear and of the enemy. The enemy loves to feed us lies that following Jesus means we are meant to suffer, and yes, Jesus himself says we will be persecuted and suffer for His name but that’s not what He meant. Oftentimes, the enemy uses scripture to twist the truth. Well, here is the truth: 

John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Revelation 7:17 “For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.  And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

We have the Living Hope that the world doesn’t. Jesus, Our Comforter, Our Living Hope, Our Good Shepherd, Our Redeemer is bigger than our pain. Time isn’t going to heal your pain. I have family members who live in constant pain and I’m sure you can think of someone who has never healed from loss and lives in hopelessness. We are blessed to have a Comforter. Blessed to know that we are not alone in our despair. Blessed that Someone knows that pain all too well. Someone weeps with us and that Someone will wipe away every tear. I’m not saying we shouldn’t fully experience our grief. Hear me. I am saying go to counseling, talk to your mentor/discipler, wrestle with God about your pain. You don’t have to do it alone and as a follower of Jesus, you don’t get to do it alone. Go through the process. Work through the pain. But, know that greater joy in heaven is waiting for you who grieve and I truly believe your crown will be absolutely more beautiful than those who didn’t experience grief. Also, as a follower of Jesus, we don’t get to live like the world. Thank God we have Hope. We have Joy. The Creator of the World, the Creator of our hearts loves to make broken things new. 

“Abba, I thank you for the ways we are blessed beyond measure and have not yet received all of the blessings that come from living a life of abundance with you. God, I pray that as we process all that we have lost and mourn, that your peace would fall on us. Comfort us. Come quickly to take us out of our pit. Don’t let us sit in our loneliness and hopelessness by ourselves. Bless us with a community who will weep in our weeping and rejoice in our rejoicing. In my grief, you were always near. I pray that whoever finds themselves in mourning will give themselves grace to feel their full emotions and weep, but that they would know that joy comes in the morning. I hope that whoever reads this will feel your love so deep and encounter it as they wrestle with grief. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Author | Karla Sanchez Tavera

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