“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15 (NIV)
I have been at my home church for a year and a half. In this short time we have experienced the death of four members. One was a child, the others have been mothers and fathers. None of them were expected. Many in the church are out of words to comfort them who were closest to those lost.
The strangest part for me has been that I have not personally known anyone who has passed away. I know their friends or children, but I have never known any of them. My heart hurts for the ones I know are in mourning, and I have not sat through any of the funerals without tears, but I don’t know the pain of losing them. I cry for them because I cannot understand what they are feeling. I still have both parents and all of my grandparents. I have lost a great-uncle who was like a grandfather to me, but even that cannot compare to their loss. I grieve from the outside. Emotionally unattached, but hurting anyway.
This position is very difficult. What do I say? Nothing seems fitting to comfort a person in this position. I hesitate to rely on spiritual words like “God has a plan.” Or “Everything will work out for good because God is in control.” Saying, “it will be OK” seems hugely insufficient. I find myself feeling useless.
I have learned through these tough times how to “…mourn with those who mourn.” Sometimes the only, and best, thing we can do is listen to them talk, cry with them, and reassure them that we are always there. Also remember these words, “…[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NIV) God will be their comforter, and often He will use us to help in the process. We do not have to worry about having the right words. God is the ultimate comforter and He always has the perfect words.
Father, I know that losing people we love is a part of life. I thank You that You comfort me when bad things happen. I pray that You would help me comfort those mourning with Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ponder: John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)
Apply: When you know someone is hurting, take time to talk with them. Be there for them and let them know that you care. Remember that God will work through you to comfort that person.
Read: Teen People of the Bible by Daniel Darling
Share: What are some ways God has comforted you during difficult times? Has He ever used other people?
© 2010 by Carolina McCurdy. All rights reserved.
Carolina McCurdy is a freshman at Christ for the Nations Institute. She was born in Germany and has played basketball for 8 years. Among her favorite music artists are Kari Jobe, Fireflight, and Barlow Girl. She enjoys playing guitar, swimming and hanging out with friends. Worship is Carolina’s passion and her heart is strongly burdened for teenage girls. Her favorite verse is Colossians 3:12-14; she wants her life and her relationships to reflect this passage.