The Blessing of Grief
By Shellie Arnold
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Today’s verse always troubled me. I grew up attending church, learning about God, and memorizing Scripture.
But even before first grade, I’d been hurt by others and experienced loss. Matthew 5:4 seemed to contain a Christian-speak mind game or bait and switch scheme. If you’re mourning something, you’re blessed. “Blessed” meaning ethereal goodness was at work in your life. Or, a “blessing” was coming. Simply call loss a “blessing,” and it was, because you’re a child of God, and children of God lead only “blessed” lives.
As I grew older, I couldn’t see any blessing from pain, and sometimes I’d think, Where’s my blessing from mourning?
Last year an emotional tsunami hit my family. I was drowning in grief and shock. At the same time, God began opening doors I’d been praying about for years—when I could barely move or think and had a book deadline.
The loss seemed to melt my bones. I could only weep and pray, listen to worship songs, and weep some more. Still, I’d stared at my computer, trying to be faithful to commitments I’d made.
Then something miraculous happened. When I thought I couldn’t take another breath, I did. When I thought I couldn’t type another word, I did. God placed others in my path who needed to hear something I’d learned, and He gave me the breath, the words, and the energy to share.
In that dark place, I began to understand. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” God was the blessing. His presence. His provision. The part of Him He lends us, so we can continue to do His work and eventually experience increments of joy again. The power to live with and through the hurt, despite our mourning.
Pain can draw us closer to God than we ever thought possible. And I’m convinced there’s a sweetness in that secret place we cannot taste any other way. Today, let God be your Comforter and your comfort. No matter life’s circumstances, He is the greatest blessing.
Shellie Arnold tells others she’s living proof God can redeem, heal, and restore anything. A multi-published author, she loves sharing truths she’s learned the hard way, and seeing those truths bless others. A home school mom of over twenty-three years, Shellie knows the unique challenges stay-at-home moms face. As a sexual abuse survivor, she understands the long-term effects trauma can have. She longs to encourage those with deep hurts that God offers all they need to completely heal. Shellie believes any marriage can be healed, and if both parties listen to God they can live happily even after. Visit her online at www.shelliearnold.com.
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