“At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over” Daniel 10:2 (NIV).
Skiers and snowboarders are tough. After taking a rail to the shin or catching an edge on a landing, we get back up and start riding again. Yeah, it hurts, but we’ve trained ourselves to be resistant towards pain–to ignore it.
While this sentiment is very helpful when it comes to hitting massive jumps or hand rails–it’s not necessarily the best rule in every situation. When we are hurting, sometimes it makes sense to ignore it and push on. While it goes against our “tough guy” nature, sometimes the best response to pain is sorrow.
There is so much darkness in the world. Our world has experienced much of this darkness these days–sickness, hurt, pain, and injustice. We are doing our best to keep up.
Get beat up, but get back at it. Right? You’re a skier/snowboarder. Be resistant to pain! But what if you wreck yourself trying a switch-backside-double-cork-12? Should you keep riding or should you go to a hospital and get that crap checked out? (For you super-shredders, the answer is go to the hospital). Resilience is important. Preventing sickness and death is essential. Fighting against injustice is mandatory. But sometimes when you are very broken, you need to give yourself time to heal. Right now our world is very broken.
Mourning isn’t enjoyable, but it is a necessary part of healing deep hurt. Jesus sets this example for us in a time of deep pain, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Jeremiah summarizes the importance of sorrow in Lamentations 7:2-3: “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting…Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart (Lamentations 7:2-3). A sad face is good for the heart. If you don’t give yourself time to mourn, you don’t give yourself time to heal. However, if you DO give yourself time to mourn, you equip yourself to be a stronger agent of renewal.
Taking time to mourn, (in whatever way that looks like to you–weeping, exercising, napping, sitting in quiet solitude, etc) is not a cop out. Mourning is not being complacent. In mourning you grow stronger. Weep, reflect, listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, and act on them. Don’t forget that you need to act. Let your mourning lead to a genuine outpouring of positive change for you and others. If you need time to be sad, that’s okay. Take a break, reach out to friends, and get the support you need. And then, when you feel strong enough, do everything you can to help your fellow brother & sister. Let’s be in this together.
What does allowing yourself time to mourn look like?
How can you take time to listen to the Spirit?
How do you feel the Holy Spirit specifically calling you to act?
By Ellie Heethuis | Byron Center, MI