----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2017 7:31 PM
Subject: comfort in sadness
Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
My daughter's father-in-law was a wonderful man. Steve was a Midwest pastor for 40 years in several churches. He just retired over the past few years and moved to be near family with his wonderful wife Carol. Then he was diagnosed with leukemia and hardly more than 6 months later he has moved on to Heaven. Tomorrow he will be remembered in a special service. There is grief and there is mourning in this family, without doubt.
The second beatitude throws two apparently contradictory words next to each other...two emotions that do not appear able to coexist: "Blessed are those who mourn". How can it be that anyone who mourns could also be blessed? Blessed, is positive...clearly...and seems to mean that from God's point of view there is something that connects the one who mourns with the One who comforts. It doesn't mean that the suffering and loss are removed but that there is One in Heaven who both understands and is sad with those who mourn.
Consider Jesus' attitude when he was with Martha and Mary just after their brother Lazarus had died:
John 11:33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
When we mourn there is nothing of self left and only God can truly comfort at that time. From God's point of view His expression and His desire is compassion and comfort. From the standpoint of the one in grief there is nothing that can be done but receive the most personal of gifts, the personal touch of our Heavenly Father, who is also acquainted with the loss of an only child. There are tears in Heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn the loss of Steve. We trust that each one will feel the comfort of the Heavenly Father.
with love for Steve, Carol and family