Salisbury Post- November 3, 2018
The words jolted me a bit, “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting.”
As if that were not enough, those words were followed by, “Sorrow is better than laughter. For by sadness, the countenance of the heart is made better.”
Hold on! That made no sense. Or did it? What engrained it even more in my mind was that the young pastor speaking those words from Ecclesiastes 7: 2-3, was speaking them at his grandmother’s funeral.
As I heard them, they almost sounded out of place, but they would be used greatly in that place. If for no one else, the words awakened me to a great reality - being in a house of mourning and in a place of sorrow is an okay place to be. More specifically - it is not just an okay place to be, but it is a better place to be.
My goodness… as soon as those words began to sink into my heart, I realized that I knew exactly what the pastor was talking about… because I had lived it. As overpowering as the pain can be in the house of mourning, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit continually holding me up and strengthening me while in that place is even more overpowering. Think about this: Indwelling means to be permanently present in someone’s soul or mind. That’s what the Holy Spirit is for us as Christians - a permanent resident.
Mourning can be defined as deep sorrow or regret about the loss of something. Having been in the house of mourning many times, I realize that time there is never wasted. Because when we are there - alone - is when we really learn that we are never really alone - and that we can cling to our one true hope - our Lord and Savior - Jesus Christ. No person - no possession - can give us our joy back. Only Jesus can do that. And he does.
Ecclesiastes 7:4 makes it all even more clear: The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning. Time spent there will remind us to embrace all the beauty that comes with the few short years we live on earth.
No, we will never be the same after being in the house of mourning - but we can be better. Better in living life. Better in loving others. Better in letting God lead us.
Mourning is hard - whether it is mourning the death of a loved one, the loss of our health, the loss of a season of life we loved, or any number of personal losses we have in life that cause us to mourn.
Ecclesiastes 7:13 Consider what God has done. Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
In other words - can we change it? No. Nobody can.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.
Live where we are. Embrace where God has put us. Trust Him in the process.
Repeat after me: I trust You, Jesus. I trust You, Jesus. I trust You, Jesus.