It’s officially been around three months since I had the privilege of visiting Israel. Some days, it feels like I was there just yesterday. Other days, it feels like an eternity has lapsed.
No matter how much time passes, I’m confident I’ll never forget the memories I made and lessons I learned along the way.
One of the amazing historical sites we traveled to was the Mount of Beatitudes. This is where Jesus and His disciples would often retreat to in order to overlook the civilizations below. It’s most known for the paradigm-shifting Sermon on the Mount that Jesus preached, which is found in Matthew 5.
When Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, He completely shifted the paradigm for society’s way of thinking by challenging their processes and introducing new concepts.
When the world looked at money as prosperous, Jesus pointed out that the poor would be the rich in Spirit. When the world looked at meek people as inferior, God noted them as those who would receive inheritance.
As I sat atop that Mount in August reading through Matthew 4, there was one verse I really struggled with in particular.
When the world looked at mourning as solely suffering, Jesus redefined it as an opportunity to be blessed. Everything the world offered, Jesus combatted with an inverse Spiritual truth.
Ever since losing my dad in August 2015, I have wrestled with the verse Matthew 5:4, which states: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
I have wondered. I have pleaded. I have suffered.
I have wondered how my mourning can equate to blessing.
I have pleaded with God to get me through this season.
I have suffered the pain of losing my father.
… but, in those still small moments where I have paused long enough to mourn, I have also been comforted.
I learned that my blessing is not contingent on my mourning. In other words: I am not blessed because I mourn. I am blessed because, in the very midst of my mourning, God comforts me. My blessing is God. It’s that I get to experience a level of intimacy with God that other people never had the opportunity to encounter.
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