An ancient guru is reputed to have inquired of the disheartened and dispirited people, those who were knowing no pleasure or joy in life—“When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing?”
By this unique line of exploration, he often arrived at the origin of their unhappiness. The cause of their loss of vitality very often harked back to a major grief in their lives. It may have been the death of a dear one, loss of a fortune, a significant illness, or some other major blow in their lives.
Some people didn’t even realize they had stopped singing or dancing, which this teacher regarded as the symbols of loss of joy. Zest for life often just quietly seeped away, leaving them dry, dispirited shadows of their old selves.
Grief can do that. It can slowly drain survivors of their vitality.
Jesus says, “Blessed are you who mourn for you shall be comforted.” That is the version in Matthew’s Gospel. Luke puts it this way: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” This is the Lord Jesus’ promise: healing and happiness follow mourning.
Proper, natural weeping and sorrow leads to renewal. Weep first, laugh later, Jesus implies. Psalm 30 puts it this way: “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Understanding Jesus creates a safe place to be real, which is a prerequisite for proper mourning. Knowing the Lord weeps with us is a major encourager as we shed our tears and grieve. Psalm 23 helps with these thoughts: “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”
Little comforts people as much as loving them: “walking with”, “sitting with”, “weeping with”, those who are hurting. That is the presence of the Lord, in the flesh. Joy then comes “in the morning”. That is what we can do for people: walk with them, sit with them, weep with them. These gifts are comforts.
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