Friday, April 6, 2012

The Blessings.3

"Blessed are you, who are acquainted with sorrow, for you will be appointed great comfort and courage."--Jesus

Laura Just talked to my daughter-in-law, Laura.  She is a remarkable young woman and we are a blessed family to have her!  Not only has she obtained her bachelor degree while raising her children she's taken on the added responsibility of caring for her sister's son, Carter.  She walks a tight rope between running the family affairs while Steve is deployed, maintaining good relations with her sister (hoping & helping her to grow into a serious & responsible parent for her other child), providing security, stability and identity for Carter, doing girl stuff with Vanessa and boys stuff with the boys while trying to maintain her own sanity!  Oh, and making sure Gus (the roomate dog) gets outside to pee...Oh, and did I mention she's a huge Detroit Lions and Piston's fan--a burden nearly unbearable in itself!

Today she received a blow.  Carter's biological father called.  He has never seen nor had not an atom of influence nor given a penny of support for Carter.  Now suddenly decides he wants custody of Carter.  Could it be that after five years, when the bill for child support finally found its way to his door he had a change of heart?  Were it a neighbor whose struggles with responsibility were well known, we might applaud his move to maturity and wish him well, little our lives will be directly impacted by his success or failure.  But a man for whom others have been burdened by his failings, have picked up the pieces of his brokenness, feel less enamored with his pronouncement of sudden enlightenment!  I'm not saying we shouldn't give everyone a chance to prove they are moving toward true manhood, but its a discussion for another time.

Jesus, the Man of Sorrows intimately acquainted with humanity's grief, always spoke to truth essential to making sense of the senseless and sorrowful.  Other translations use the word "mourn" in place of "sorrow" which makes us think of those attending a funeral expressing the pain of their loss & grief.  Sorrow is the heart's response to discomforts, disease, destruction, duplicity, unfairness, foul play, helplessness, the evils of life.

"Mourning is a canker-bitten blossom on the rose-tree of love. Is there any mourning worthy the name that has not love for its root? Men mourn because they love. Love is the life out of which are fashioned all the natural feelings, every emotion of man. Love modelled by faith, is hope; love shaped by wrong, is anger-true anger, though pure of sin; love invaded by loss, is grief.
The gladsome child runs farther afield; the wounded child turns to go home. The weeper sits down close to the gate; the Lord of Life draws nigh to him from within. God loves not sorrow, yet rejoices to see a man sorrowful, for in his sorrow man leaves his heavenward door on the latch, and God can enter to help him."-MacDonald, The Hope of the Gospel

The promise to them that sorrow is that their sorrow will end with comfort.  Comfort is the doorway into God's great heart where we find grace to help in time of need, wisdom for response, strength in the inner man to stand shoulders squared ready for whatever comes pulling us back from the brink of bitterness, the edge of despair, the chasm of chaos!

Take comfort all ye that sorrow!