“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
This is one of those statements that only sounds good in church. In real life, few ever discover the “comfort”…and as a result, they discount what Jesus was teaching. No one ever comes right out and says as much, but if I could ask the angels, “How much traffic does this promise get?” I’m pretty sure they would say, “Not much!”
What human experience could be more common to all of us than the verb “to mourn”? Now try some nouns: pain, sorrow, disappointment, betrayal, failure, heartbreak. Or some other verbs: ache, agony, anxiety, despair, grief, regret….
I can think of three reasons people do not experience God’s supernatural comfort. Let’s look at two right now.
- I don’t think we usually connect our verbs or nouns with the Bible word “mourn.” In other words we frequently do mourn without making the spiritual connection.
- We might wrongly assume that when we are hurting, the comfort will automatically come… but it doesn’t work that way. When we are experiencing heartache, we qualify for divine comfort — but we have to come to Jesus in order to receive it!
He says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden; and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Many qualify — weary and weighed down — but fail to come. Don’t be one of them.
There is a third reason people do not receive Father’s supernatural comfort when they are hurting: they don’t know how.
A man had two sons: Jack who is nine and Rob who is eight. Both boys had a terrible day at school. Both chosen last during a recess ball game. Both punched and ridiculed by bullies as they walked home. They were seriously dragging bottom when they came home, Jack first and a few minutes later you could hear Rob stomping upstairs and slamming his bedroom door.
In Biblical language, they were both mourning. But watch what happens next.
Many think that a nine year old is too old to climb into Dad’s lap and let it all out, but that didn’t stop Jack. He sobbed the whole story into Dad’s chest, and Dad listened to every word, holding him tight and rocking slightly. No one could hear what Dad whispered into Jack’s ear, but in about 30 minutes Jack hopped down a happy camper. He had received comfort.
So what about Rob?
Silence. Everything bottled up. He was hurting alright. I call this “unprocessed pain.” He didn’t come to Dad. Instead he nursed it all inside without the comfort he so desperately wanted.
Rob’s not eight any more; he’s thirty-eight. He still has not learned to come, to receive. It was Jesus who came to lead us into His Father’s lap. This can be your new favorite place!
How about you? Do you have any “unprocessed pain”? This can be a tough thing to recognize, as most of us are really clever at resisting, denying, and storing that pain in the shadows. Vague symptoms of depression, anger & anxiety are clues that you have missed some needed comfort along the way.
Try this. Get into a quiet place and let yourself feel. Let yourself remember. What emotions have you been experiencing today? This week? This year? Pay special attention to the ones that repeat or feel mysterious. Those are signposts from the darkness, and they are your unique opportunities to meet with God for some much needed comfort.
See you on the path,