— Pastor JC Palacios
I’d like to dedicate this post to the Ramos family in their time of mourning.
"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
Today my church lost someone. To say she was an amazing woman does not do her justice. I won’t list out the reasons she was a phenomenal human being, because there simply isn’t enough room to put it here.
This mourning business is no easy feat. Pain sucks. Like it really sucks. I’m talking major suckitude here.
That’s why I’ve always found it hard to read when the bible says, “Blessed are those who mourn.” How can mourning be a blessing? Where’s the blessing in seeing your mother battle cancer for so long, seeing the pain, sickness, sorrow, struggle? That’s not a blessing. Well at least by earthly standards.
Society tells us that she’s blessed when she has perfect health, her family is happy, her car has gas, and there’s brand new furniture in the house. That’s the type of blessed we all want to see. Don’t tell me she’s blessed when she’s fighting for her life.
The bible does that. It takes everything we think we know about who God is and how He operates and totally turns it on its head.
I think back over the last several months at church and how our pastor has been teaching us about prayer, faith, and the kingdom of God. I think about the nights we would plead and press for God’s mercy on her life and for healing. I think about how desperate we were to see a move of God.
And I think about how that’s where the true comfort lies.
It’s in that pressing and praying and pleading with God that we find that comfort. It’s in those dark times that we seek Him out the most. And He’s there every step of the way. Not once did He leave that family’s side. Not once did He turn His back. He’s been a comfort to them in a way I’ve never seen before.
Now to the mourning. She’s passed away now. No more pain. No more sickness. No more struggle. Praise God almighty that she made it home! She fought a battle with cancer and she won! The victory is hers because she’s resting the arms of the creator of heaven and earth! Nothing nothing nothing no thing can remotely come close to the victory she just received!
That being said, those who are still here are left shocked and hurting. They’re mourning because their mother, wife, aunt, sister, and so on, is gone.
The bible says there is a time to mourn. It also teaches us to join in on that mourning. I’m mourning myself.
But the mourners will be blessed. They are blessed.
Because the mourners will be comforted. That comfort is in Christ, in His sacrifice, in the redemption He gives us.
That comfort comes from the Holy Spirit, the one who’s name is Comfort, the one who gives a peace that makes no logical sense, the one who dries the tears of the broken hearted and eases the pain of the sorrowful.
That’s the blessing. That’s why those who mourn are blessed. They get that comfort. They experience the Lord in a whole new way. Praise God for mourning!
To Pastor Josh and your family, my condolences are yours. I weep and mourn with you. I hope my paltry little words can be of some comfort in some minuscule way. I love you tremendously and offer my services to you in any way possible.
I think it’s been way too long since I’ve done any actual blogging on Tumblr, so it seemed like the right time to start a new series on here and see how long it lasts. I present to you Proverbial Insights - a series of blog posts where I will share a few thoughts on the wisdom and knowledge found in the book of Proverbs.
My first installation will be on Proverbs 12:25, which is shown above.
The main thing I noticed about this verse is how, at first glance, they don’t seem to be statements that are in any way related to each other. Most other expressions of wisdom in Proverbs follow a juxtaposition layout, where you are told what a wise person does, followed by the opposite, which is the action of the fool. This one is different because there is no juxtaposition.
Instead you’re given a problem and a solution.
We’ve all felt worry before. I might get fired today. My dog is sick. Rent is due and my gas tank is empty. I didn’t realize I ran out of almond milk until AFTER I poured my Honey Bunches of Oats. We’ve all been there. Worry is a heavy burden. It weighs us down.
The Bible is chock full of things we should do when we worry. I’m not going to post them here. Open your Bible and do some searching.
This verse, however, tells us what we should do when other people are worrying. Do you have a friend at church, family member, coworker, or mailman that is worried about something? Offer them an encouraging word. Throw some scripture at them. Buy them a coffee. Tell them that God has promised us a peace that goes beyond all understanding.
Just don’t be cliche about it. Don’t lightly punch them in the shoulder and tell them it will be all right. No one likes that and some people bruise easily.
Instead, find a way to encourage them that you know will be specific to them. Think outside the box a little.
- Chris: I'm taking no pleasure in beating you right now.
- George: Am I losing? Or am I really winning??
- Chris: No you're losing.
- George: How do you know I'm not conning you? Haven't you seen White Men Can't Jump?
- Chris: What is this? Black Men Can't Play Chess?
- Slartibartfast: Once again we have failed pathetically. Quite pathetically.
- Ford: That is because we don't care enough. I told you.
- Slartibartfast: But unless we determine to take action, then we shall all be destroyed; we shall all die. Surely we care about that?
- Ford: Not enough to want to get killed over it.
- Student: Hey Mr. Esparza what's this word mean?
- Me: Anatomy? That means body. As in the human body.
- Student: Oh ok I get what you mean.
- Me: You know you can use the dictionary right?
- Student: Nah Mr. Esparza you know I don't use the dictionary. Me and the dictionary don't get along. We done already got beef in the streets.
- Me: Did you know that the prefrontal cortex of a teenager's brain isn't fully developed?
- Student: Is that the part where math is?
Started watching it and became obsessed in the first 15 minutes. Yep. I’m one of those people now.