FOR the next few weeks, I have decided to let my friend write. She is going through a period of mourning and I feel with so many experiencing the death of COVID-19, there might be some who need to hear from one who gets your pain as you grieve the loss of your loved one.
Death changes the course, rhythm and meaning of life. Death can cause someone to doubt everything that they had believed about God. On the other hand, death can help us draw closer to God because death is not the end. Death is not final. Death is promotion. When death hits, people mourn, and the big questions is: how do Christians mourn? Join me in the few weeks as we investigate the word of God and as I share my thoughts and lessons, I have learnt in my own grief journey.
I experienced a “personal pandemic”— the loss of my husband. Family and friends kept checking on us and my response was always: “We are okay, it is the new okay and the new normal for us.” Three months down the line we experienced the global pandemic, and we are familiar with the new normal. Pain, agony, grief has become a part of us. Many lives have been lost and many are mourning.
Mourning is painful. Mourning is hard work. People mourn differently. There is no right or wrong way of mourning. We need to understand that each one of us expresses our emotions in unique and different ways, hence the need to allow each other to mourn differently.
However, in real life, it is not usually the case. Just like any other season in life, there are a lot of expectations (cultural, social, religious etc) to deal with when one is going through a particular season. Mourning is a season as well and no exceptions, sadly one must deal with these expectations.
On top of deep pain, agony, and heartache of mourning one must face the reality of dealing with the said expectations. In my opinion, it makes mourning even more unbearable. However, as believers we have a choice- to go back into the word of God and draw our strength. I love the fact that the word of God is clear about death and how we should mourn.
When believers mourn, they are assured of comfort. There are many scriptures that talk of God’s comfort.
My classic one is Matthew 5vs 4 which says: “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” I have found myself asking: “How can Jesus call those who are mourning blessed? Where is the blessing?” I have found myself saying, “Thank God, Jesus did not say cursed are those who mourn for they will mourn till they die.” The pain of losing a loved one is immense; it is that kind of pain that is hard to describe or put in words.
Yet, Jesus says, “you are blessed because you will receive my comfort!”
Jesus’ comfort is enough to heal any broken heart. Comfort is our portion! Comfort is guaranteed! If you have lost a loved one, if your pain is still too unbearable that you cannot even figure out your life without your loved one, I want to challenge you to ponder on these words by Jesus and many other scriptures that talk about God’s comfort. I want to challenge you to take comfort in knowing that our God does not lie. Our God does not change. What He said, He will do.
Jesus does not only know how to comfort us, but he also himself experienced and suffered both emotional and physical pain. Isaiah 53 vs 3 described Jesus as, “a man of suffering and familiar with pain.”
In John 11, we hear that Jesus wept. In the garden of Gethsemane, we see Jesus praying and in deep agony facing the cross. His soul was troubled when he faced death. Jesus knows and understands pain. He aches with us when we are going through pain. And Jesus knows the amount of comfort we need.
On the other hand, it is easy to associate any form of pain, disappointment, frustrations, to the devil. Mourning or losing a loved is one kind of pain. Once one associates pain, frustrations, disappointments with the devil, one will struggle to see and experience God’s comfort.
Here is an absolute truth derived from the word of God: the fact that it is painful, the fact that it hurts, the fact that is not adding up it does not necessarily mean that it is from the devil.
Join me next week as we look at how Jesus prepared His disciples about His death and how He responded to facing the cross.
- Believers do not just mourn.
- Believers mourn with hope.