4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
God has been hitting me accross the face with verses these days. "Alright Bryce, you lack motivation-a*smack* here ya go!" I suppose God has better grammar then I… Okay take your focus off my bad grammar to the bigger picture…
I have heard Romans 12:15 many times. I always have difficulty explaining that to students. Can you just make yourself rejoice? Can you make yourself mourn? It wasn't until recently that it made sense. A good friend of mine, Julian, is at the center of some of these deep looks into my heart. Julian was in an accident on his motorcycle in which he went head-on with a truck. I received the call late at night, called my girlfriend, and started crying. I have never made a hospital visit until Julian, and due to our close connection I didn't know what to do. People, because I am a pastor, were going to be looking to me for some form of advice, wisdom, strength, something I didn't know what to expect. I called someone up from our church that works in a hospital; perhaps he could give some advice. In the end his comments can be summed up like this (1) be dynamic, meaning feel out the situation and react accordingly; and (2) mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice.
That is all well and good, but when you are so close to the victim and you are staring his father in the face with a mixture of pride at how many people came to his son's side and complete overwhelming sorrow in the face…what does that mean? How does that play out?
The answer is a lot easier than it seems. It just means, be there…through the thick and the thin. You don't need to be strong; if you're broken over it, show them, mourn with them. You are human, you do bleed, you do have emotions, you do have fears. It does no good hiding them. Yes you believe God is good, yes you believe He can heal, but you know this world sees tragedy daily. There is also the reverse: in times of rejoicing, REJOICE! Praise God for good news! That fact that Julian survived the night is a miracle, REJOICE! His vitals are strong, REJOICE! He will wake up once his swelling goes down, REJOICE!!!
It is really very simple: Be there. Be authentic. Listen.
I think this shows Christ more than a well-rehearsed smile and nice suit any day.
An authentic outcry is met by God's grace, mercy and compassion. In whatever form that takes.
UPDATE: Julian recovered, came out of his coma over a year ago and is serving the Lord with vigor. God is good.