One of the things I feel that often gets neglected in church is the need to grieve. Often when something traumatic happens, we allow folks a period of time for grief but then try to urge them to “lean on God” and get over it. Sometimes it takes longer to grieve than many of us give room for and soon we begin to judge the persons faith based on how long they grieve. Other people have hidden wounds they feel are “too small” to grieve and are afraid of being judged if they share it as a grievance. In short, for many the church is not a place to receive comfort from their pain and I feel this is a weakness we must correct.
I believe from this passage that when we get in front of the throne, we will be able to share our grievances from earth with God. It will be a healing process with our Abba and he will hear our pain and wipe away every tear from our eyes. In effect, we will be comforted. Those sealed (see Revelation 7:3 and Ephesians 1:13-14) will be comforted and every tear we shed in our grief will be wiped away. We will receive healing from God. All the pain gone, all the wounds healed, all the issues wiped off the slate.
God knows of the deep need for us to be comforted. He knows the deep-seated reality that we can’t move forward until our past has been healed. We may think we can. We may pretend we can but we can’t and that’s why before we enter into Glory he will wipe away every tear from our eyes!
One of the great realities about the book of Revelation is that we see Heaven is a now and not yet reality. This comfort, this tear wiping can be ours now. We might not be able to receive the fullness that we will once in Heaven, but we can have a portion now. As the church, we could be the place of healing for the past wounds people have. We could be praying for healing over the lives of every person in church. We could be praying Heaven down into the lives of one another, yet this portion of God’s promises seems to have been forgotten.
Instead in large part, many people I’ve talked to are afraid to share what ails their soul and at church most of all! Jesus once said: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4) not only giving us permission to mourn our grief but also promising that if we do so, it won’t be empty when we do…we will receive comfort from Him!
As the expression of God on this earth, we could be a healing balm to this world by lending the comfort to the mourning. Have we abdicated this to counselors or psychologists? In large part, I believe we have! Let us become a safe place for the mourners and seek to bring them comfort through the power of the Spirit!