At a recent Bible study, we were discussing Matthew 5:4, the Beatitude that states "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." I've always puzzled over that Beatitude in particular for the way it's worded. I don't know anyone who is mourning a loss who feels blessed by their grief. Sure, they will be comforted, but that's little consolation when you're heart is breaking. I would venture to say that they would gladly forego the comfort if they didn't have to experience the loss. As we discussed the meaning of the Beatitude, I was reminded of a previous Bible study I'd enjoyed by James Moore calledIf All Else Fails, Read The Instructions. In it, Moore explains that the Greek word makarios has been translated as "blessed" in the Beatitudes, but it means much more and is difficult to translate into English. He suggests a better translation in these Scriptures is "close to God" or "near to the heart of God". So, the second Beatitude would read "Close to the heart of God are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." I can relate more to this version and I think others can, too. I shared Moore's translation with the group and that Jesus loves us so much, it breaks His heart when we mourn. One of the women in the group gasped and then slowly shared her story. There was a time in her life when she wanted to die. She was extremely depressed after a series of losses of family members ending with a miscarriage. She was so depressed, she was incapable of doing anything but lay in bed, curled up in a fetal position, praying to die. She didn't want to hurt any longer. She told the group that, besides the grief, the only thing she felt during that time was God's strong, continuous, loving presence. And not just His presence, but she could feel that He was hurting because she hurt. I pray that you never have to mourn a loss, but, if you do, remember how much God loves you and how much He wants to take your hurt away. Open your heart and mind and you will feel his comforting arms around you.
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