“Blessed [are] those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4
It strikes me this evening how conditioned we are by both culture and pride to either miss or avoid one of the greatest gifts God can give us by grace: spiritual mourning.
In the natural sense, it is easy to see why this would be the case. One of the most powerful realities of the kingdom is also one of the most foolish to the peoples of the earth. It is the one aspect of our faith that reduces the gospel message in its current, popularized form, to almost total irrelevance if one had the boldness to add it to the evangelistic presentation. Who wants to sign up to “feel bad”? Isn’t the gospel about true joy and a free heart? Why would mourning be a necessary part to spiritual growth and maturity?
The most powerful reality that we can enjoy in this life is agreement with God. The prophet Amos asked the pertinent, and convicting, question to a people who assumed they had a relationship with God – “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). A major part of my journey in God happens by continually hearing of the word, believing it, and changing my life to conform in obedience to the superior way of righteousness. I listen to the word and believe it because I love Jesus, and that love spurs me on to do what He commands. In giving my life to the superior way of His commands, I am doing so because of the continual hope I carry that my obedience will have a glorious “payoff” in this age and the age to come. I want to encounter and walk with God in deep and dynamic friendship.
The question that sets me on that journey to true friendship is so simple: “Am I okay with the quality of my friendship with God, or is there more to experience in this relationship?”
To mourn is to decide that I’m not okay with where my friendship with God is at, and to long to go deeper.