Sometimes we desire to offer comfort to those that mourn and try to find the perfect thing to say. What we really want to do is make it all better. There often is no perfect thing to say, and sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. Job’s “friends” accused him of lying, concealing the truth, and having unconfessed sin in his life. But before all of that, the first thing they did was sit down with him in the ashes and rubble and for three days said nothing at all. Those were real friends.
Some Christians get the idea that happiness is the only mood we are supposed to express. God is good all the time, this world is not our home, Jesus is all we need. These are all great truths but that doesn’t mean we will not experience other emotions during this life here. Ecclesiastes teaches there is a time for every activity under heaven, including a time to laugh and a time to cry. After Jesus saw Martha, Mary, and all those with them weeping, John 11:35 says that Jesus wept. He knew ahead of time that Lazarus was dead and that he would be raised; he wept because he empathized with those weeping. Jesus also wept over Jerusalem, and at other times was angry. Revelation 21:4 says that God will wipe away every tear. We live in a broken world, and are surrounded by sin and death. There are times that mourning is called for, and no words can make everything better. Despite our eternal hope, it is not wrong to sometimes be sad. Continue reading