A while back, The Way did a series on Mourning and it is also covered extensively in The Way. Click on either of those to help out our missions project. Today we look at mourning less as a state of being and more as a season in our lives. To be sure, mourning will come to all of us. We just have to make sure we navigate it appropriately.
So, wait. Didn't we talk about weeping last week? What's the difference between that and mourning?
Great questions, my avid readers. The difference between mourning and weeping seems to be pretty nondescript at face value. Both are seasons born out of sorrow and pain. Both have the potential to drain and defeat a person. However, there is a slight difference. Mourning is the long-term result of a weeping season.
When you lose a loved one, the initial sorrow we feel is a state of weeping. It's an overwhelming and emotionally deflating time and it's difficult to deal with. Mourning is still an emotional period, but its not as emotionally overwhelming. In fact, we can get pretty used to life in the season of mourning and become comfortable in our sorrow, and that is the danger inherent in this season. Weeping just lasts for the moment. Mourning can last for a lifetime if we let it.
Why does mourning linger?
First off, when we face tough times, it's okay to mourn and there is no set time that mourning needs to last. God claimed that mourners were blessed and the Bible repeatedly shows mourning to have value for one's spiritual development. However, there does come a time where we must exit the mourning season.
That said, there are many reasons people get stuck in a mourning season. One of the main reasons, though, is because its easier to mourn than it is to come out of mourning. It's easier to accept our child is lost and to mourn their soul than to boldly and faithfully proclaim their imminent return to Christ. It's easier to bemoan our financial crisis than it is to trust God and keep paying our tithes. It's easy for a pastor to look at their church split from 5 years ago and have a pity party instead of going out to reach new souls. It's easier to mourn than it is to overcome. Mourning-unnecessarily long mourning-just takes self pity. Overcoming takes a will.
Where do I find that will?
Finding the will to overcome we actually have to return to that healthy period of mourning. We need to look at what God wants to do for those who are in mourning:
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
From the mouth of Christ we find what our reward is when we face those certain tough times: The comfort of the Lord. When tragedy strikes and we find ourselves coming out of the emotional season of weeping and into a season of mourning, we need to start looking to God for our comfort. We need to set our eyes to the hill from where comes our help (Psalm 121). When we face rough times where a loss tends to linger with us, there is only one person who can help us through. His name is Jesus. Having others there to listen and pray with you, to even share in weeping and mourning with you, is great (Luke 7:32). However, only Christ can truly provide the comfort you need so you can find the will to overcome. When God wraps His loving arms around you, the comfort of His presence softens every hurt and pain and it reinvigorates our spirit. With a reinvigorated spirit, we can get a new focus on our problems and approach them with a fresh perspective. It doesn't mean the tough times or situations will disappear, but the way we approach them and they way they affect us will.
Do you have something you mourned for and overcame through Jesus Christ? Share it with us in the comments. We would love to start a dialogue about mourning experiences to help others who are facing grave challenges to also overcome
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.