I'm a daughter, granddaughter & niece of pastors. I love God & studying the Bible and want to empower others to do the same.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. -Matthew 5:4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort -2 Corinthians 1:3
I’m so thankful for the fullness of this promise, the guarantee of this truth, and that I have personally experienced it, many times. My best friend from elementary through high school died within a few months of our principal, a powerhouse of a woman who taught me so much about what being a godly woman can mean, about what true strength means. That was just after my senior year graduation.
As a young married woman, I tried for 10 years to get pregnant. I tried a treatment with possible side effects, but it finally happened. Then a few months later, I miscarried, because the baby formed in the wrong place of my body, and my body rejected it. A couple months later, I also lost my youngest sister, who was actually one of my best friends, just a couple weeks before her nineteenth birthday. For months after, I didn’t think I’d ever heal, that anyone could understand the now-gaping hole in my heart and life, created by a laugh I’d never hear again, a hand I’d never hold again, my weird sense of humor no one else appreciated like she did, my desire to watch and research quirky TV shows, directors, and actors, obsessively watching everything they were in and following fan theories about what might happen next.
There were so many wonderful friends, family members, even coworkers and pastors who surrounded and loved on me and my family during that time of loss and sorrow. They did their best to comfort us with meals, listening to our stories, binge-watching her favorite shows with us, sitting in silence and holding my hand like she used to, crying with me, or holding me while I cried. But it didn’t fix it. There were times when I cried alone in bed, in the shower, in the backyard where she and I had made silly memories. People can be wonderful comforters, but it’s not full. There’s always a missing element. And eventually, people have to go home. They have to leave. Or they simply don’t know what to do or say. But God is always there.
God comforted me in those times when I was alone, in bed when I couldn’t get up in the morning, in her bedroom which still held her smell, in all my empty, lonely moments. God has always been there, ready to comfort me if I’ll accept it. He’s the only One who always has been there. He was there on the day of every death, every loss I’ve suffered, even smaller ones like when my pet bunny died. He was there when I blacked out from the pain of that miscarriage in a hospital bed. He was there when I fell to the floor screaming because my sister died. He was there every day after, too, when I had to learn to care about brushing my teeth, showering, eating, working. He was, and is, still comforting me every year on her birthday, on the anniversary of her death, the anniversary of my friend’s death, the anniversary of my baby’s death, or a random Monday afternoon at 3 PM. The gracious Father lets me cry, scream, ache and pour words all over Him. He was and is still big enough to take my anger at the unfairness of it all. He pulls me out of my self-pity, too, when I let Him, when I ask Him for His perspective and to help me trust Him that He will still bring good, somehow.
He can and does “keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.” (Psalm 56:8) Every one of them. Tears have a different chemistry. Tears from joy look different under a microscope than ones from sorrow, or tears of laughter from tears of release, or of hope. God designed them that way, and He knows each kind, and how many of each kind we have cried. And He cares; He is compassionate. God sorrows with me, rejoices with me, laughs with me, remembers what I remember. He also comforts me, better, more deeply, more empathetically, more satisfyingly than any human ever could. He promises to—always.
Humans have a tendency to pull away from hugs too soon, before I’m ready. Honestly, sometimes so do my pets. People also don’t always know the right words to say to my aching soul (even I don’t sometimes). But God does. He has filled His Book with them. God also isn’t uncomfortable with my silence when I need quiet. He doesn’t feel the need to fill the silence with words. He is content with my presence, and He can sit with me as long as I need to, and grant me peace even in the sorrow. He never gets tired of my stories about my sister, of hearing my beautiful memories of her, and delighting and even laughing over them, even when it’s too painful for others to hear. God always listens to me, always wants to hear my thoughts and voice, even when others tire of me or my stories or interests. God promises to be our portion (Lam. 3:24, Ps. 119:57), exactly whatever we need, right now, every day, as we need it. He’s the perfect friend. He knows what we need better than and before we do (Ps. 139:4), and He fulfills it! All we have to do is go to Him, to ask Him (Matt. 7:7). Even if we don’t know what to ask for, we can tell Him that. We were made to need Him, to be satisfied by Him more than any other relationship, and He will do it (Ps. 63:1). “And my God will supply all your needs” (Phil. 4:19), not just physical needs, but all needs—emotional, spiritual, everything.
I have mourned over my sin too, when I’ve done things that hurt others, or when I lost friendships over a wrong I did to them that they couldn’t forgive. I have mourned my sin nature, that keeps giving in to what I know is wrong and what I don’t ultimately want to do (Rom. 7:15-23). I have had sorrow that though I am saved by grace, though I try with God’s help to be free from sin, I cannot fully be, this side of heaven. And yet God comforts me in this too:
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:24-25)
Our gracious God not only comforts us in the midst of sorrow, as long as it lasts, He even gives us hope that the sorrow, the time of crying, the aching pain will end and He will eventually replace it with joy again:
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)
“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Ps. 30:5)
I’m so thankful for God’s comfort whenever I have need of it, whenever my heart sorrows, over griefs small or large. He is still our ever-present help (Ps. 46:1). God is my greatest and closest friend, the Father whose lap I can always run to for comfort (1 John 3:1-2).
© 2021 Amanda Lorenzo