Posts Tagged ‘laughter’

Luke 6:20-23 — What is the most shocking loss you have experienced? I think for me the most recent shocking loss was the death of my stepson, Trey, 12 years ago. I saw him at 6pm that night. Two hours later, he was in a car accident that eventually within two more hours took his life. Life. Death. Within hours. A teenager gone in a split second. We weep over such things. We do not understand such things. How can this be blessed? We weep. We shake our fist at God. Trey’s death changed our lives, exposed sores in a marriage that eventually destroyed it. The trajectories of lives forever altered. Weeping. Loss. Change. Loss. Tears. Loss. How can this be blessed?

In the second half of v. 21, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who weep now, for you shall laugh.” This beatitude just flies into the face of everything that we know in our humanness. To us, weeping is a bad thing. How can this be a blessed state of being? When we think of weeping, it is usually thought of in the context of a major loss, particularly death, especially the death of a loved one. It is defined in the dictionaries as “to feel or express sorrow or grief over (misfortune, loss, or anything regretted); deplore”. However, Jesus always looks at life differently and in a more eternal way that we do. Jesus says basically here that mourning means something good in the end. It means that comfort will be given by our Father. Why does Jesus say this?

Let’s look at this. I think what Jesus is saying to us here are several things. Weeping in the sense of this text cannot be limited to simply grief surrounding death of an important person in our life. It is meant, I think, to include all forms of grief, Inherent in mourning is that we have lost something that we cared about. What is the biggest thing that hits us hard when we grieve the loss of a loved one? It is the realization that we do not have any true control over the course of our lives. Grief is more than losing a loved one. It is the hopelessness of not having control. For most of us, mourning is the result of realizing that we do not control our own destiny. Trey’s life was taken in a instant. When we are young we think we are invincible. As we grow older, we don’t think that we are invincible but we do still think that we have our world under control. While we mourn we also see that life has a way of continuing to work its pattern regardless of what we do.

There was an old song by the Byrds back in the 60’s that still occasionally gets air play today on light rock stations. Part of the lyrics are “to everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.” The song has almost a fatalistic tone to it, in that there inevitability in everything and that we don not control anything. That concept seems depressing to us as those who believe in the American Dream. We control our own destiny, right? However, there are things in life that happen that make us realize we are not the masters of the universe. We are not even the masters of our own situations. We see this often in the expression of grief over the death of a loved one. In coming to that realization, there can be an inevitable descent into hopelessness.

This is true in mourning caused by other factors in life not just death of a loved one. We often mourn over

• loss of a marriage,
• loss of a job,
• loss of money,
• loss of a home,
• loss of a friendship,
• loss of anything in our humanness that we cling to as important in our lives.

We all handle this hopelessness in different ways:

• Some may completely ignore it. They try to escape it by replacing it with worldly pleasures.
• Some try to escape it by means of alcohol or drugs, when they cannot bear the pain, they just run away from it.
• And there are few, who turn to God for finding solace, comfort in their time of suffering and pain.

Yes, it is a harsh way to come to God – through loss. However, once we realize that we do not control our lives like we think we do – then we are open to God. We are broken. We cannot We then reach out to something greater than ourselves. Like crawling in our daddy’s lap when we hurt ourselves and there we find comfort and feel oh so loved and secure. In that instant, we feel nothing can hurt us or at least that daddy will fix it for us. That is what God wants for us. We often complain about God’s silence in our time of need or suffering. But this beatitude (blessedness) depicts very different picture. God is calling us near, ready to comfort us, all we need to do is to respond to Him. This idea is fully realized in the Words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Through mourning, the realization that we are not in control but rather out of control, we can honestly without hesitation in our heart turn to God, our Heavenly daddy and say please fix this, please fix my life. Only then can we turn our life totally over to his control. It is when we are brought to our knees by the events of life that we can finally see God. It is there that we can finally NEED God. All of our pretenses are laid bare. We have tried and failed to run our own lives. We have tried and failed to control our own lives. We have failed. There are also things that happen to us through no fault of our own that knock us to our knees. There are events that knock us to our knees. When we weep. We weep because we do not understand. We weep because events are controlling us. We weep because someone else has dumped their crap on us. We weep. We are broken. We are no longer proud. We are ready to see our Savior. We are ready to give Him control.

Again, as we see here, Jesus turns our conventional wisdom about what is good and what is bad on its ear. Through our weeping, we find God and rid ourselves of the hopeless randomness of this world. In Jesus’ view, we can come out of the other end of weeping as one who is solely dependent on God. And is it not the truth that the joy we find in giving our lives over to God that we can smile and even sometimes laugh at the joy we now know in Jesus Christ. Are you on your knees? Are you broken? Are you weeping? Jesus awaits. He will take your burdens and make them His. He will give you rest. He will give you joy eternal! Amen.