“Therefore I said, ‘Look away from me! Let me weep bitterly! Do not try to comfort me about the destruction of my dear people.’” – Isaiah 22:14
My soul is deeply sorrowful.
Today, this week, this month, this year – this lifetime, I grieve for beautiful life departed. I mourn for hope deferred and dreams deterred.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15
It’s difficult not to weep with those who weep when there is so much hurt, so much anguish, and so much heartache, so much tragedy, and so much pain in this world. And I see it every day, if only in the church’s prayer needs lists.
People are hurting. Children are losing and have lost parents. Husbands and wives are caring for their ailing spouses. Brothers and sisters are prayerfully fighting the war against the enemy Satan and his stronghold – death.
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” – 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
And families are losing and have lost young children – children who had so much talent and so much potential, children who had so many hopes and dreams, children who were sweet and kind – children who loved family and loved the Lord.
I don’t know if it breaks your heart, but it does, mine. Sometimes I struggle to even look at the prayer list because I know that it will contain sad news. But I’m always reminded that the effective, fervent prayer of the righteous avails much (James 5:16), so it pushes me to pray.
“Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one.” – Psalm 69:20
And when I think about all the hurt that could be prevented if we all just treated one another kindly, it deepens the hurt. Sometimes unkind words that should never have been spoken or heard or were never even meant as true, but spoken rashly or unconscientiously, can push people into an overwhelming despair.
“So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” – Nehemiah 1:4
I don’t know what to say when it comes to words of comfort, because sometimes I feel like Paul and the brethren when he said that they were afflicted, completely overwhelmed – beyond strength – so that they even despaired of life (2 Cor. 1:8).
However, Paul also said in that passage that it was God who delivered them, it is God who does deliver, and it is God who will deliver His people, again and again (2 Cor. 1:9-10).
We can put our hope in that. Though destruction, misfortune, evil, and tragedy are all around us, we can put our hope and trust in God – especially in times like these. My faith in the Lord is the only thing that sustains me. If it wasn’t for that faith, that trust, and that hope, I wouldn’t be here. God comforts the downcast (2 Cor. 7:6). And the Scriptures give us comfort so that we might have hope (Rom. 15:4).
“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.” – Matthew 2:18
While we seek a glimmer of light in this dark, cold world, and find hope in the Lord Jesus, we must never forget those sweet souls who have gone on before us. So if I had any kind of power or the ability to do so, I’d say: Today, March 14, 2019, I declare a National Day of Mourning, in honor of all the lives that were so tragically ended, and way too soon. And for the families of the precious lives lost, we show our love and respect in solidarity. All flags across the nation are to fly half-staff from Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 10:00 am EST until Monday, March March 18, 2019 at 10:00 am EST.
“For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt. I am mourning; Astonishment has taken hold of me.” – Jeremiah 8:21
Today, let us put aside all divisiveness and all trifling. Today, we honor the memory of the cherished lives that have departed from this side of life – especially the lives of young children who were filled with the promises of a better tomorrow.
In solemn reverence and resoluteness, we show our respect, we extend our sympathies, and we demonstrate the compassion of the human spirit.
Today, we mourn.
“Judah mourns; her gates languish. Her people are on the ground in mourning; Jerusalem’s cry rises up.” – Jeremiah 14:2
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