4 “Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad.
I’ve heard it said that the Beatitudes, which is where this section of the Sermon of the Mount is from, is a “roadmap to God”.
Blessed are the poor in spirit…those who mourn…the meek…those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…(NRSV)
These are the people who have experienced God in pure, raw, real ways. Find them, you might just find God.
Today’s focus in particular, I find that to be most true: those who grieve. Now, when we read that, our minds probably jump to someone who lost a loved one to death – and those people most assuredly are experiencing God in some of the most stripped-down ways possible. But grief does not just need to be loss of a person. We can grieve seasons, jobs, almost anything. I’ve heard that many who have given birth often grieve carrying the child.
I’ve found, both in myself and in others, that those who have experienced very real, deep grief, understand and experience gladness, happiness, joy in very real ways also – because they know what it feels like when those things are completely void. So, I challenge us to read today’s Beatitude and not see it as, “Well, God’s just going to make us happy when we’re sad” and rather see it as “those who grieve will know gladness again, and it will be a gladness unlike any other because of their grief.” Being glad does not mean grief is completely gone and we no longer miss the person, place, event. What it does mean is that they can coexist and bring hope to one another.
by Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and allow yourself permission to name a time when grief took over. Under what rocks or cracks in the wall did God sneak through? What did it teach you about gladness?
Prayer: God our Redeemer, bless those who grieve. May they see You through new eyes today. May their grief bring them closer to You. May they feel the hope and permission needed to find slivers of gladness. Amen.