Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ

An End To Mourning

And just like that my season of mourning, over this particular loss, came to an end.

I knew it was time to put off mourning and be about the Lord’s business. It lasted a long time, well over a year, and felt like a heavy cloud that lingered over every other thing, marked by sadness. Every area of my life was tainted with this loss. Every moment of free thought, absorbed by it. Joy had been sucked up and hope was waning.

When I first felt impressed to stop mourning, I thought about Moses and the Israelites. First, there was the passing of Miriam, then shortly after, Aaron (Numbers 20). After the passing of Aaron, all the house of Israel wept for 30 days. Later, (in Deuteronomy 34) Moses dies, and again the Lord sets a time of mourning for the Israelites. I wondered why the Lord set this specific amount of time for them. 30 days doesn’t seem like very long to grieve a loss.

The Israelites had specific mourning practices which included weeping, fasting, tearing of clothing, wearing sackcloth, and throwing dust on the head. It’s important to note that there were also certain mourning practices that were forbidden to Israel including pagan rituals such as cutting yourself or shaving your head for the dead (Deut. 14:1-2).

Their displays of mourning were much more extravagant than mine, but probably no less consuming then what this season was for me. I am unsure why God sets specific times and seasons for things, but I know he does, because the Bible says so. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Daniel 2:20-23)

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him.”
Dan. 2:20-22

If you’re wondering how I am “putting off” mourning, these are some of the ways:

  1. I try not to indulge my feelings over this thing, as I have been. The loss is significant and I know the feeling will continue to come up. Instead of giving in to those feelings I aim to give them to the Lord and focus on the work he has for me, with joy. Feelings are not my master, Jesus is. Feelings have a place, but they also, at times, need to be put in their proper place.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.” Prov. 3:5-6

2. Jesus carries the weight of my burdens, including this one. I have many responsibilities, but I have no responsibility to mourning itself. The outcome is not up to me.

“LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.” Jer. 10:23

3. I try to focus on the positive. It is easy to be caught up in negativity when I’m already feeling sad, so I have to actively think on things that are good. This is hard, but not impossible. And after a while of doing this, it gets easier.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Phil. 4:8-9

        4. Getting proper rest and nourishment is important and necessary. I tend to get side-tracked with getting proper nutrition, exercise, and rest, during very stressful times, so I have to make this a priority.

“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” Eph 5:29-30

5. Spending time with the Lord through prayer, supplication, and Bible reading. This is the most important of all these things. Without the Lord, himself, I am unable to do any of this, especially to stop mourning.

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

I know that mourning will come around again and that it is necessary for different seasons we go through, but joy is always to be the undercurrent of our lives, because our hope is in the Lord. Sometimes joy is hard to find in difficult circumstances, but God works in us during these times too. Making the determination that this needed to be done lifted a heavy burden off of me, and I felt lighter. I no longer needed to carry it around. Some day there will be no more mourning as “He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.(Rev 21:4, italics mine). ” But for now, in obedience, I let go of my feelings of mourning and walk in the freedom the Lord has provided me. To do his work and his will. Amen.

“Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning…” Psalm 30:5

 

*This is not prescriptive, just an explanation of how, for me, this loss, for this season, ended.

 

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