Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
There is a vivid memory etched in my mind—a day when one of my sons hugged a tree in our back yard. The tree had a "ladder" of nails driven into it, and he used them for climbing. I was about fifty yards away, watching and admiring the athletic prowess of my son, as he hung from the first branch eight feet from the ground. But his foot slipped off the nail and I saw his body swivel around to the other side of the tree.
As he held on to the trunk with one arm and wrapped a leg around the tree, he yelled for help. I began walking toward the tree, but in his moment of distress, he didn't wait for me to arrive. Typical of the very young, he hadn't yet discovered that sometimes it hurts more to let go than to hang on, so—he released his hold on the branch. He slid down the trunk and skinned himself on every nail protruding from the tree. A long bloody gash stretched from his waist to his chest.
He hit the ground, immediately bounded up, and came running. His feet were moving so fast that he even fell once as he ran. When he reached me, he leapt into my arms and began to wail. I just held him and hugged him, because I knew he was experiencing more pain than he had ever felt before. Although I am not a great father—in fact, sometimes, I'm not even a good father—I did what comes naturally to any parent witnessing his child in pain . . . I comforted him.
Why is it that we think God will do any less for His children? Why is it that we think God groans when He sees us coming to Him in pain? We assume He is thinking, "Oh, no . . . you're hurt again?" If we, as fallen, sinful, earthly parents can comfort our children in times of distress, whatever the cause, how much more will our perfect heavenly Father comfort us in our distress—whatever the cause?
The word for comfort in Matthew 5:4 is not sympathy, which means to feel with, or empathy, which means to have experienced the same thing and feel with, but a combination of two Latin words which mean to put strength in; to infuse with power.
This means that God doesn't just pat us on the back when we are in mourning; He gives us what we need to endure the pain of sadness. It's as David said in Psalm 138:3, "On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul."
Have you fallen from any trees lately? God will lift you up—blood, tears and all. So go ahead . . . wail to Him in your sorrow; cry to Him in your distress; jump into His arms of healing.
Your Father is waiting to hold you close to Him. Then you will learn what Christ meant when He said, "Blessed are those who mourn . . . for they shall be comforted."
Prayer Point: Perhaps you are bleeding today from some emotional gash, and are in need of a giant "bear-hug" from God. Be encouraged, friend! God says in Scripture that you can cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. No matter how great or small your concern, God will give you the strength to deal with it.
Extra Refreshment: 1 Peter 5.
The Advent Event
December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.
One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.
Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.
Many ministries today expound on life and illustrate with Scripture;
we’re committed to expounding on Scripture and illustrating with life!