By Esther Velez
You do not have to “cheer up”. You are not required to act joyful when you feel like sinking into a puddle of tears. No one has a right to tell you that your circumstances are not too big of a deal…or that others are going through worse trials.
See, your story is valid. The things that are breaking your heart right now are more than real. They’re real enough to keep you awake all night. They’re real enough to make you not want to leave your bed some mornings and they are heavy enough to make you feel as if you’re gasping for air. I get it. I am walking through something similar at the moment and no part of it is fun. All of me has been fiercely looking for distractions to keep myself from feeling this way.
A good movie here and there. Blasting my favorite music. Running. Driving around. Doing everything I can- everything that is within my reach to bring me some relief. And I believe they are all good things. There comes a point when we simply need to have a break from the weight of life and these things have been a breath of fresh air for me at times. However, these things cannot be the main source of our joy and rest. We cannot solely depend on going out with friends and feeble attempts at staying busy to bring us the ultimate comfort we need. We must first rest. and abide. and m o u r n in the Lord.
If can be honest for a second, I’d like to say that I despise that word. mourn. I do not like the sound of it, nor the things that come to mind. I think of death. and funerals. and silence and a lonely feeling. A sign of defeat… however, Jesus thinks of mourning very differently.
The bible tells us in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”.
We have a savior who experienced the most unbearable of pains himself. I cannot imagine what it does to someone to leave a home in Heaven. Only to come to earth and be spit on, mocked, nailed to a cross, and rejected by the very people He came to save. In his suffering, he made time to be by himself with His father. In prayer, he pleaded. He cried out in distress and through this, He was strengthened. He was comforted and renewed. He found rest in his time with the Father.
I am thankful for that same invitation to us, this Christmas. To the heartbroken, the anxious, the hopeless, the poor, and the weary: come mourn at the feet of the One who mourns with you. Distractions can replace our worries for an instant, but the promises for those who mourn far outweigh the temporary benefits for those who seek distractions.
Come and sit. Cry. Wrestle with Lord. Express your frustrations. Ask for help. Ask for comfort. Ask to be strengthened and ask how He is growing your character through this.
He will answer. He will deliver you. He will show you a joy that is not dependent of circumstances. To the weary this Christmas season, this too shall pass.