I write a lot about the joy of the Lord and of happiness and passion, but I know there are other topics that people need to hear about. And really, there are other things I need to tackle; to think about myself. Tonight is one of those times. By the influence of some whom I love dearly, and also through my own inspiration, I feel as though the topic of comfort and grief needs to be brought up.
Everyone has the times where their heart is heavy, and no matter how strong we are, we don’t feel buff enough to handle the weight we have been handed. I get it, I’ve been there. We’ve all been there.
So how do we make it through? When our grief breaks us down, sobers us up to the harshness of reality?
In the words of Sarah Kay, (my slam-poet girl-crush) when speaking about what she would say to her daughter, when she becomes a mother: “And she’s going to learn that this life will hit you hard, in the face; wait for you to get back up, just so it can kick you in the stomach…” See? She’s right. I know, particularly tonight, of some friends of mine who are feeling both a sore face and stomach, if you know what I mean. Life has hit them hard, twice (or more), and getting back up again seems pretty damn hard. But Kay goes on, in such beautiful wording of course, and says “but getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.”
I think that oftentimes, we get so stuck being down (very legitimately so, after life hands us too much) that we forget how strong our hearts and legs are to get us back up. We need someone to remind us how nice the air is up there, and invite us back into the happiness of that place.
Where is that place, to be exact? John 14:26-27 is a good starting place to figure that out. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” He gives us the peace that the world simply cannot give! So when we find that our hearts are indeed troubled or afraid, the comfort that surpasses anything we could dream of is found in the comfort of His embrace.
That’s hard to accept sometimes. We want the troubles of the world to simply not affect us, we want the pain to not reach us. And that’s understandable. There is a lot of hurt in the world, but on the road out of that pain, we can find the most beautiful, wonderful things. “But I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar: it can crumble so easily, but don’t be afraid to stick out your tongue and taste it.” (Sarah Kay, again.) The trick, I guess, in getting out of that fear and grief, is remembering the sweet things of the world – and having the courage to taste them again.
It is comforting to know that hurt is temporary. Psalm 30:6 reads “For at dusk, weeping comes for the night; but joy comes in the morning.” Sometimes the night is longer than we want, longer than we think we can bear, but the promise of joy that comes after is a beautiful and reassuring assertion that He promises. In the midst of a lot of pain in our lives, knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel is something to be so gracious for – and all praise goes to God.
Last verse for the night 🙂 “You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth, You will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.” – Psalm 71:20-21