Mourning: Part I (for me)

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”     Matthew 5:4 (NLT)

Dr Alan Wolfelt says in his grief workshops that “grief” is what most of us experience privately. “Mourning” is the public expression of our grief. Dictionaries include words like “deep feelings” and “being sensitive” among their descriptive words. And all this got me to thinking about Jesus’ point.

I have always assumed that Jesus was speaking to us who have experienced the loss of someone we love through death. Jesus was saying to me that in those dark nights when I am missing that one I love, when I ache with the loss, God’s Spirit will be there to comfort me in ways no one else can. I still believe that.

But Jesus was all about bringing reconciliation between the Father and His children. His audience had tried for centuries to follow the Law and make that happen – and failed. So Jesus is all about repeating the Good News: we are saved and reconciled to God!

But I miss the point because I don’t grieve for the sins I have committed that keep me separated from God! I am not feeling the pain of that separation – until now. The light bulb has gone on!

My sins keep me separated from God until I receive the forgiveness and love that comes to me through Jesus. Paul says “nothing – not death or this life or demons or powers here or to come can keep us separated from God’s love through Jesus” (Romans 8:38).

How can I not take the time every day to allow the Holy Spirit to search me and shine His light on my sins? It is like brushing your teeth or washing your face every day. Without those every morning, I feel yuk! But when I am clean and fresh, I have more energy; I am not carrying the burden of sin with me!

When Paul writes to the Corinthian church, he shares about Godly sorrow.

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.      2 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NLT)

When I take the time with God, He pours out His love and forgiveness. It’s not about begging for forgiveness but it is about feeling the need, feeling the separation and reaching out for Jesus’ hand which has been there waiting to pull me up and dust me off when I fell from His path.

All my life, walking every day with Jesus, brings peace no matter life’s bumps and storms. No matter if today is my last day here or 30 years from now, when I confess my sins and allow Jesus to wash me clean, I am ready to meet the Father because of Jesus. That does bring peace that passes all my understanding!

Give Me Jesus written by Fernando Ortega & sung by Vince Gill

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