Rejoice with those that rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15 NIV
Death has rocked many this week. A young man killed by another DUI driver, a young husband passing too soon, an older aunt passing away and then the tragedy at Uvalde, Texas. So many people are mourning, including myself. It is sooo hard.
After hearing the news of my friend’s husband’s passing, my heart just wanted God to do a reset. I am sure the drunk driver who hit a 23-year-old medical student felt the same way. If only I hadn’t gotten behind the wheel drunk. What about the families in Uvalde? Those that knew that young man who made such a horrible decision that affected so many families, are stunned and mourning. I am sure they are wondering what they could have done to prevent such devastation. Death changes things, not just for a day, but for eternity. It brings permanent changes to those who are directly influenced by it.
I am soo very grateful for God’s Word. The morning after I heard about my friend’s husband, my Bible reading brought me to John 14. Let not your heart be troubled. My first response was Lord, how can it not be? How can our heart not be troubled when this young family’s world has been shattered? As I kept reading, the next phrase jumped out at me. Trust in God. Oh, Father, that is so hard, but You make it easier when, even through my tears, I think about You. Your love, Your care and Your understanding of how hard things can be for us here, but You still are a God of help in the time of trouble.
I chose to calm my heart and my tears. I chose to begin to pray, (again) for the families; releasing my faith that He is a trustworthy God who knows how to help this fresh widow and the other grieving families through this dark shadow of death. Although it still hurts, hope sprang forth and faith arose that He will help them through this wilderness and into His green pastures. He will bring His goodness into the situation, because that is what our God does as we let Him. He reminded me of how He brought me through my own shadow of death when my husband died.
Our hearts are broken for the families of Uvalde. It is mind-boggling to wonder how this young man thought it would ease his pain to cause so much more. But now, we weep for them, but we must also pray for them, releasing our faith that God will send His people with words of hope, comfort and action. “Father, please use this tragedy for Your glory. You didn’t cause it, but You use it for good.”
The scripture in Romans 12:15 instructs us to mourn with those that mourn, not just mourn for them. This implies a journey, and every journey takes time. There are bumps, obstacles and potholes along that journey. But mourning with someone means we stay with them, no matter what the terrain. It is a choice we make to walk alongside someone, but they don’t have a choice. It is their cross to bear. We can help make it easier with our presence.
Mourning isn’t just for deaths. I found myself mourning for the Body of Christ at large because of the moral failures of different church leaders and church scandals. When the church should be coming, the pure and spotless bride, we look more like a be-draggled homeless person. It hurts my soul, even when I recognize my own short-comings, which do not reflect His image.
The difficult topics that are dividing the church world right now also cause a mourning to my heart. How can Christians have such divergent views on abortion, LGBT, gun control etc is hard to comprehend? But, this is another area where I must not let my heart get troubled, but trust Him and His parenting skills for His children. Often difficult! It’s like you want to parent another person’s child! Not your job. It is our job to pray for the church. Pray and trust Him for His purification and working. It is our job to be faithful to our light and the truth He has revealed to us. Mourning should lead us to prayer, and prayer should lead us to insight and wisdom on what action we need to take. That is comforting.
Father, I pray for all those I know that this week their world has changed due to death. It is so hard to comprehend, but You do. You see everyone, and have a plan to help them through all these changes. Show us what we should and can do to bring comfort to their world. I pray for all those who are mourning, that Your Comforter will arise wit healing in his wings. In Jesus’ Name, amen.