I remember the day I started kindergarten. I got onto the school bus excited and happy, and I got off the school bus at the end of the morning crying.
I remember the night that my maternal grandfather passed away and the hurt and the mourning in the days that followed.
I remember the tears at night during middle school and high school because someone said something cruel and hurtful to me at school and not just once but over and over again.
I remember the pain from the man I loved when he told me that he didn’t feel that he was supposed to marry me and how that pain grew worse when one week later he became engaged to someone else.
I remember the hurt and confusion when I was fired from a job and accused of things that I was innocent of.
I remember that pain of my beautiful cousin passing away from cancer at the age of 24 and then my grandfather passed away and another cousin who was just 3 weeks older than me was killed in a motorcycle accident. In one year’s time I lost 15 friends and family members. People who were influential in my life at one time or another.
And then I remember how Jesus as he was giving his famous “Sermon on the Mount” said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 ESV)
I think of the words of Longfellow in his poem “The Rainy Day”
“Into each life some rain must fall.”
And the words of the “Preacher” in Ecclesiastes :
“For everything there is a season, and time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 ESV)
We are all going to experience times of deep pain and mourning, times of loss and sorrow. They are a given in this life we lead on earth.
But there is One who even in the times of our greatest losses can bring comfort to our souls and turn our mourning into dancing.
If we allow Him, He promises to comfort us.
In the loss of loved ones, I have found comfort in knowing that if they are believers then I will see them again one day and in taking time to celebrate their life.
In the loss of jobs, I have found comfort in knowing that it is time to move on and start fresh.
In the loss of relationships, I found comfort in knowing that they were part of my life for a little while and that the Lord has taught me much through them.
And in these times of mourning and weeping, the Lord has sent friends to walk by my side. There is comfort in knowing that you are not alone and that someone is nearby to hold your hand or give you a hug if needed,.
When we are hurting and in mourning, the Lord has as many different ways of sending comfort as there are people in this world.
But something I have also learned is that we have to let the Lord comfort us. There have been times when I have clung to the pain instead of clinging to the one who can ease the pain.
When we are seeking comfort, we need to be seeking it from Him first. The Lord alone is the one who can offer comfort and healing that is eternal.