Mourning – Beatitude Study

17 Aug

As I write this post, we’re only five days from a new school year beginning. For my youngest child, that creates some mourning of summer. His flexible schedule, inviting neighbor friends to play, swimming, playing legos, sneaking into the pantry for a snack…ah, how he will miss you summer!

This week, I’ve read posts on Facebook and blogs of mothers sending their first child off to college, and others sending their last. Lots of red eyes and wet cheeks can be found on those campuses. And I bet they’ll continue behind the walls of homes for weeks ahead.

Still others are mourning a more lasting loss, that of a friend, a parent, a spouse, even a child. I read another update about a wife who held her husband in her arms practically two days straight after leaving the hospital for home.  She cradled him as he left this earth.

Mourning meets every one of our lives. Mostly, it is out of our control to hide from it. However, there is a type of mourning that we can actually choose.  Let’s consider the next verse in the beatitudes since our last post.

Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

In this verse, the original Greek word for ‘mourn’ is ‘pentheo’.  It refers  to a general mourning, or lament. Other Greek words specifically tie mourning to death and suffering. According to my Bible dictionary, ‘pentheo’ can encompass death, sorrow for sin, grief over condoned sin, grief for a church, sorrow over Babylonian system- it is an encompassing use of the word mourn. 

So, if we read this verse from Matthew and extend our thoughts of mourning beyond death of a loved one to include the examples above, we might see a heart condition behind the word ‘mourn’.  If  we mourn over sin in our own lives, if we mourn for the lack of God in our own actions, in an alive joy for His word in our churches, in the disregard for our God’s ways in our world – that is a heart condition. A heart condition that exalts God and His Ways to the point of grieving (as opposed to shaking our heads and rolling or eyes).

But what about the mourning we choose?

There is a personal mourning we can willingly take on when we give up something we dearly want, solely because we know God is telling us to. I’ve done that on some occassions and He has truly comforted me and made me happier on the other side of it. By choosing to be obedient in giving up something I desired to chase (mourning it), I experienced pain and heartache, and some consequences. But in that place (weak, yet obedient) I clung to my God and He comforted me, and gave me a bright joy after the hurt.

It reminds me of a song lyric that uses ‘morning’ (get it, a homophone to ‘mourning’ – okay so maybe it’s a

word-nerd thing).

Though the sorrow may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning

A great song by Darrell Evans. Here’s a video of the song with all the lyrics.


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