blessed are those who mourn

Category : Jesus, Matthew, bible, faith, hope

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In the history of R3 I don’t think I’ve ever gone close to two weeks without a “serious” post.  In fact it’s rare that I miss a single post during the week.  But such was the case for the last two weeks.  What I thought was going to keep me down for a few days turned out to floor me for nearly a week.

When I get sick I usually go in a very set pattern, and it lasts just about 3 days.  This time it was different.  In fact, even though it’s been 15 days since I first got sick, I’m still not feeling 100%.  This is near record territory for those of you scoring at home.  But in the course of all that something interesting happened – I was reminded how grateful I am for my health.  Most days I don’t give my health a second thought.  And I never really think about how lucky I am not to have any health issues.  But these last two weeks have given me many opportunities to do just that.

Sometimes the Bible says some pretty crazy things.  For instance, Jesus once said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  I’m not even sure I really understand what that means.  At least not fully.  To be honest I don’t even want to think about that!  I don’t want to be blessed because I’m mourning.  I want to be blessed because I have a nice car and a nice house.  I want to be blessed because my life is easy!

Yet after being sick I can see how mourning leads to being blessed.

When we suffer we face a choice.  We can become bitter and angry, and that suffering holds us in place.  How many movie villains have their origin in just such a scenario?  How many of us have our identities rooted in pain?  Our other choice is to not let suffering control us.  It’s a chance to embrace mourning as part of a natural healing process.  It’s an opportunity to try and learn something from mourning.  Even if all we learn is that we need more of God.

Because I went through a time of “suffering” I now more fully appreciate what it means to be healthy.  Without losing my health, I never would have really understand what it meant to be healthy in the first place.  Sure, in the big scheme of things this wasn’t catastrophic.  But you don’t always need to have a catastrophe to learn from God.

I think this type of knowledge was what Jesus was driving at.  God’s Kingdom is often upside-down.   And this is just one more example.  Jesus knew that.  He knew that suffering can lead to appreciation.  Which is why he tells us such a counter-intuitive thing.  Maybe we should all embrace our mourning instead of trying to run from it.  Maybe it’s true, “blessed are those who mourn. “