Job 42:5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. NKJV
Job spoke these words to God as he conversed with Him after losing all his children, and everything he owned….in a single day. Tough stuff. Job was having a tough time trying to make sense out of what happened. We all do that, you know. Job was mourning. We all do that too! And it’s not a bad thing. In fact we should all do it. Every time we have a loss. It is merely a part of healing from the thing that has caused us pain.
We often hear something said to be OF God or something that declares that God is like this or like that, but fail to see why it is. And it is often at that point that we make a God of our own design. We make Him into a monster Who has given us pain and suffering: He is the great “disaster maker” and desires to see us suffer. Or we cry out, “Why would you punish me? I’m not that bad. I haven’t ever killed anyone.” Perhaps you feel you have been wronged in your life. Had a bad childhood, were molested or suffered other physical abuse as a child. Perhaps you grew up in abject poverty. Now it’s God’s fault that you are messed up, still in poverty or a million other things that are wrong in your life.
Here’s a news flash for all those holding a pity party for themselves tonight. He is “I AM”….not “I’ll be whoever you want me to be” We should learn to humble ourselves before the living God and allow Him to raise us up….it’s a promise, you know! His desire is to bring us to the fullness of who we can be….utilizing the talents he has given us and the abilities bestowed within us to do amazing things. We need to mourn though, in order to get over whatever it was that has caused us to be angry or upset.
And yes, anger is OK, as long as we do not sin in that anger. In fact, anger may be considered a part of mourning. It is one of the five stages of grief, so why not? But some people turn mourning into a lifelong pursuit. That is not OK, because mourning for an extended period assumes that God doesn’t know or understand or care what you are enduring.
God most certainly knows exactly what is happening with each of us….and He also knows the plan for our situation to be made better. When the kingdom of Israel was yanked away from Saul, Samuel went into mourning. After all, he was the one God used to anoint Saul as king. But God wouldn’t let Samuel get away with it. He spoke this to Samuel: 1 Samuel 16:1
Now the Lord said to Samuel,”How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” NKJV
God knew what had happened, certainly. And He had a plan already for the future of Israel. That plan was for a shepherd boy to take the reins in Israel and it was through the bloodline of that same shepherd that the Son of God would come. Miraculously, but humbly, in purity and peace.
And God has a plan for each of us as well. No matter what we have gone through or endured, whether our lives have been difficult or wonderful, whether we are suffering or living in peace. God knows our situation and His desire is for us to listen to His voice and do His will. And that is exactly what we should learn in or from our mourning. But learning from our difficulties is really not something we do well as humans. It’s sad that it’s like that and it certainly need not be, but it seems that we, at least some of us, are a people who must endure pain and we, some of us, enjoy the very act of mourning.
We measure our lives from mourning to mourning when it is much more of a godly thing to measure our lives from joy to joy. We can recall in a moment when we had the accident, got fired, divorced, arrested or abused. When we should be recalling when we discovered the Lord, got married, had a child, helped someone in need or laughed with a friend.
Now don’t get me wrong. I certainly believe we should mourn when we have loss, and that loss may appear in a thousand different ways: Death of a friend or loved one, a diagnosis of a terrible disease, losing a job, and yes even losing an election. But after all of these things, and every other bad thing that can be counted as loss we will certainly be healed, but we must pass through our mourning. God loves us and desires that we turn to Him in our loss. He too expects us to mourn or He would not have given us the capacity to mourn.
Even animals mourn, but the biggest difference is that an animal will move on…or it will die. We will as well. There have been many people who have mourned so deeply and/or for so long that they have died in their sorrow. Their hearts have been broken and so badly damaged that their lives have been shortened by many years.
This is not what God desires for us….any of us. He loves us, no matter what we may think. For we are His creation. His greatest desire for us is for joy, pure unadulterated joy. God is an amazingly joyous being and His desire for us, His grace toward us is that same joy. He wants us to be jumping up and down like little children at the things that He has brought us to so that we may pass through them. Not stay in them and mold.
And that’s exactly what will happen to each of us if we refuse to move from mourning to joy. So trust Him that He has your best interest at heart and learn to….