Friends, 2020 has been a hell of a year and that might be an understatement. Though, as I wrote in my last post, we must fight to remember who is holding it all together despite what we’ve faced.
As we limp toward the end of the year and cautiously approach 2021, the questions I keep asking myself are, “how do I reflect on the past year?” and “how do I plan for 2021?”
As I was asking these questions, the Lord brought me to verse 4 in the Sermon on the Mount.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Let me be honest for a second. I’m your classic Enneagram 7 (for all you Enneagram lovers out there) and I struggle to process my negative emotions because I always tend to be the optimistic one, the one who sees the “silver lining” and is trying to bring encouragement into every environment. Those aren’t bad traits, but if I don’t sit with my negative emotions such as…I don’t know…MOURNING…then how will I ever create space to be comforted?
When I take my grief, sadness and wounds to God, I open up space in my heart that only He can fill with his love and comfort. The alternatives are to keep your life so busy that you never process your wounds (my typical drug of choice), to harden your heart by becoming bitter, cynical and angry, or to avoid the sadness by filling up your wounded soul through destructive self-medication. All of which I have explored at one time or another and found them lacking.
The truth I’m battling to believe is that God wants to comfort me, that He will comfort me and that His comfort will be enough for me. The promise in Jesus’ teaching is that those of us who mourn will be blessed (fulfilled, content, joyful) and comforted (encouraged, strengthened, consoled). That’s the truth of Matthew 5:4 – he wants to comfort, he will comfort and it will be more than enough, so much so that in some miraculous way our mourning will bring blessing.
What Jesus is offering us is not so much a static formula as it is a fluid framework to process the grief in our life. It’s not as if I grieve once and then I’m totally comforted. It’s not one and done. It’s a process that offers a promise. I keep taking my wounds, hurts, pains, sadness, disappointments to God and trust that I will be comforted, I will find healing and that God will bless me with the joy of his presence in the process.
So I as reflect on 2020 and plan for 2021, I’m going to do so this way: I’m going to mourn the losses, sadness, disappointments, etc. of 2020 and plan for 2021 knowing that the God of all comfort will meet me there no matter what the year has in store.
Friends, just remember – “Blessed are those who mourn (2020) for they WILL be comforted.