Let Us Not Waste Our Mourning

by Lee Buford on December 29, 2011

Even to the most biblically astute and faithful Christians the death of a loved one brings sadness and grief. Despite the joy and peace in knowing that one has passed on to eternity with Jesus our natural response is to feel sorrow, hurt, and sometimes even anger and confusion. So how do we respond well during these times? How do we glorify God and the memory of our loved ones when our own emotional reserves seem to be on empty?

R.C. Sproul, Jr. recently lost his wife Denise to a prolonged battle with cancer. He has grieved and certainly still feels the pain of her absence, yet he continues to seek God and trust in His sovereignty. I was moved by what he posted on Twitter yesterday:

“Praying I don’t waste my mourning. Lord, make me the kind of man that honors the woman with whom You blessed me.”

I think R.C., Jr. has it right. He gets it. Our mourning is not a time to be wasted, but rather a season to praise God for His grace and blessings upon our lives. We must depend on His strength, His sovereignty, and His faithfulness to complete our joy and provide our peace. Only in and through Him are we are able to mourn well, to point to His glory, and to honor our loved ones in the process.

I was saddened to learn yesterday that the 20-year old son of a high school friend was killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday. I was also notified that another friend’s father has passed away after a long illness. This morning I awoke to the news that the husband of another friend was killed in a car accident on his way to work this morning. Death and grief are all around us, and I pray that we would love and care for grieving friends and neighbors in a way that glorifies God and points them to the comfort only He can provide. I certainly can’t truly imagine what it’s like for these families as they grieve today, but I’m praying for God’s hand upon each of them.

They, like R.C. Sproul, Jr. and the rest of us at one time or another, suddenly find themselves in a season of mourning and grief. I pray that they would not waste it…that they would turn to God and find peace and rest in His love and faithfulness. I pray that you and I would do the same whenever we find ourselves in the same situation.

Let us not waste our mourning, but rather let’s use it to proclaim the glory of God and to honor the ones with whom He’s blessed us to know and love.

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