The Struggle of Grief: Matthew 5:4 and God’s blessing of comfort

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

One of the main battles of grief is this feeling struggling within your soul telling you to get over it, to move on. This feeling produces guilt. It lays a burden on top of the grief which already seems too much to bear. And, at its very core it is a lie.

Grief is not something we can just get over. Our mourning the loss of a loved one is a not a formulaic or simple process. There is no time table and there is no checklist where we can make sure we have done everything right and are now on the road to life as it used to be. Because, there is no life as it used to be. Something has changed in us and around us. We can try to ignore the change or patch it up, but we cannot alter reality. The death of those we love places a marker down in the story of our lives. We have to learn, or at least try to learn, to live in the after. The struggle of guilt keeps us from facing the after and seeing the love of God even in this moment of loss.

In the beatitudes Jesus turns our narrow ideas of God’s blessing on its head. When we conceive and communicate God’s blessings simply as our good health and a growing of our wealth or as something we experience only when our lives are post card perfect we actually miss the power and grace of His blessing.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

There is something we know about the blessing and presence of God only in our mourning, only in moments of great loss and the struggle of grief. In our mourning we can know God’s comfort through His presence, promises, and people.

I love the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases this verse in The Message. “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”

I don’t wish for anyone to go through grief and the loss of one so dear to them. I mourn the brokenness of a world that takes those we love away. But, there is a deep truth about the character, nature, and love of God we learn only in the depths of the valley of grief.

God blesses us in our grief. God blesses us in our mourning.

God comes near to us when we lose those we love. God comforts us.

Let go of the weight of guilt you carry because you are still struggling with grief. Don’t believe the lie that you need to just get over it. Don’t miss the blessing of God waiting to comfort you right where you are. Come to Him. Lay your grief and loss at His feet. Trust Him. He loves you. He is with you. He will comfort you.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

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