Verse: Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
As a parent, you never want to see your child hurt, or upset, or sad. Your heart breaks for them. But at the same time, at least for me, there is an overwhelming joy in being the one they run to, the lap they crawl into, the shirt they wipe their tears on. Their comforter. I relish the opportunity to wrap my arms around them, quiet their sobs, and calm their breathing. And I think God feels the same way about us.
"Blessed are those who mourn" seems like such a counter-intuitive statement, until you read the rest of it. "...for they shall be comforted"...by the creator of the Universe, the father of all mankind, the almighty, everlasting God! Starting to seem like more of a blessing, isn't it? Just like a parent with their child, God sees the bigger picture, knows that those scrapes and cuts will heal, that the temporary heartache will fade away, that we will grow stronger for the experience.
But this mourning, and its comfort, aren't just about the pain and grief we feel as a result of things that happen to us. We are also called to mourn our sin, to despair and grieve not just when our feelings are hurt, but when we hurt the feelings of others, or of God. And it's when we do mourn our sinfulness that God most takes on that role of comforter. Because his comfort is eternal. When we repent of our sins, and turn to him in humility and vulnerability; when we bury our head in his chest and weep for what we've done, he wraps his arms around us, wipes away our tears, and calms us. And he promises that we will spend all of eternity wrapped in those very arms.