Matthew 5:4 reads, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
I have a confession to make. Whenever I have surgery, do not feel well, or go through something traumatic (like a car accident), I want my mom. The safety of showing my vulnerability to her makes me open the floodgates and tears pour! I am sure we all have that parent, spouse, friend, or person that is the safe place to be completely vulnerable and open.
For a long time, the world did not want to see that, not really. A controlled showing of emotion when something terrible happens is acceptable, but a deep mourning of loss needs to be measured and controlled. Going a step further, there is an idea in the Church that because we have God, we cannot show the world our vulnerability because then they would look differently at God and the Gospel. We needed to be stoic, God is in control, and if something bad happened, we needed to be seen as accepting God’s will for whatever happened. It was a sign of weakness to be seen as sad or affected by bad things.
I have found it a relief that God calls those who mourn blessed, and not just blessed, but then comforted! This idea of “don’t show your weakness,” was not only unattainable but not biblical. The last few years of my life, through a cancer diagnosis and everything that comes after that, have taught me that showing my weakness can be the perfect path to share the Gospel. I was able to say, “Yes, this is terrible, it is scary, and it hurts but even through all of that God is good.”
The world does not need to see us ignore the hardships, they need us to see it and then point people to Jesus as the only hope that can give us true comfort. Ignoring the hardships only makes the world see us as out of touch and fake. Paul talks about it in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
God’s power is not made perfect in strength, it is made perfect through our weakness! Hold onto this truth, when we are struggling, mourning, and trying to tread water through difficult times, remember that God’s grace is sufficient to see us through it and His power is perfect. It is not an accident, tell everyone who will listen that through our weaknesses we can boast about how good God is. In the honesty of our struggle, people will be drawn to God’s power and come to know His saving grace that is the Gospel.