Read: Ezekiel 24:1-26:21, Hebrews 11:1-16, Psalm 110:1-7, Proverbs 27:14
Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. (Ezekiel 24:16)
Relate: I am not married. I have never been married. I’ve lived a good chunk of my adult life believing I never will be married. It is difficult for me to understand the depth of love that exists between a husband and a wife. Ezekiel is not a young man at the time of this writing. He was one of the leaders taken during the first exile to Babylon. He was a respected member of his community. The other elders and leaders often came to him for wisdom and advice. As a respected older good Jewish man, he had probably been with his wife for a long time. There was probably more than just a formal arrangement between a husband and his bride. They were friends, partners, confidants. Now they are torn apart. But Ezekiel, by command of God, cannot cry.
I have no familiarity with marriage, but I am no stranger to grief. Over the summer just before I started college I had two different friends killed in two different accidents. Since that time I’ve lost a grandfather, an uncle, my dad, two aunts (one on my father’s birthday just less than a year after his death), my grandmother, a couple cousins (one who was also my roommate for over a year), my sister and her newborn (on Mother’s Day), and more. Each loss in its own way is hard. Each brings its own grief which cannot be tempered by the sorrows that have gone before. I cannot imagine God telling me, “Do not cry.” I do not think I could obey, even if He did.
React: As important as it is to be real with others, there is also a time to take that real and bury it. Ezekiel could grieve, just not publicly. He could mourn, but was barred from going through the traditional (very healthy) mourning rituals. Even in times of greatest distress, he was still serving a higher purpose. There were others who knew and loved his wife as well. There were others who needed to hear and respond to a word from God, and at a time when emotions are so raw and open, they were far more likely to truly listen. They could only listen, however, if Ezekiel was focused on the message and not on his own grief. How we handle grief has the potential to be the greatest opportunity to witness we might ever have in another’s life. Are we willing to use it?
God, I know You are not the author of evil, but You can bring good from it. Death is an enemy, but it is one that You have defeated. Thank You for the hope that Your victory brings. Thank You for the confidence I can have that I will be reunited with Your children who are my family and loved ones who have gone on before. I know that one day death itself will die. Until that time help me to use each one that I am given, whether I am walking on sunshine or passing through the valley of shadows, for Your glory.
7 thoughts on “Do Not Mourn (11/12/14)”
One of the more intriguing aspects of the bible, to me, is the multiple faces and facets of God we see.
While those facets, at times, almost seem to compete… I now just strive to take the words in stride rather than seek the definity in infinity…
Nice observations friend. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, so the scripture definitely hit home. the passage and your post make me think…. I would weep because of the same love God wants us to embrace, and weep publicly because of the courage to put aside the same fear of persecution God wants us to overcome….. I would also, now, keep this post in mind, however…
Once I discerned, speed thinking and started feeling, the message in God’s words here reminds me that it is important not to get LOST in our emotion, and it is important to monitor your intent in the process of saying goodbye to a loved one.
Afterall, at some point, we mourn more for OUR loss than the loved one who went home!
“….there is also a time to take that real and bury it. Ezekiel could grieve, just not publicly. He could mourn, but was barred from going through the traditional (very healthy) mourning rituals. Even in times of greatest distress, he was still serving a higher purpose.”
I tried to explain this today…and I needed your words to help me in understanding this…thank you.
yes i also know grief but life goes on and no matter how we cry and mourn in private there comes a point when we must put these things away and have faith in God
Reblogged this on monadsamadhi and commented:
Although I have a different idea of what God is, I can wholeheartedly relate to this article, as I am in the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ so to speak. All situations of potential suffering subjects kne to immense spiritual growth and transformation. All are ways to get closer to the One, by breaking all emotional attachment to people, places and things–or nouns, lol.
We grieve for ourselves – not those at home with God. Hard not to miss some of those saints!
Very sober message. Thanks for writing it!
A favorite verse is in 2 Corinthians 5:4: “…That mortality may be swallowed up by life.” Having been through the death of seven people this year (and more on the way) this verse gives great comfort. I know that what I perceive as death was seen to be nothing more than an exit into forever…they are safely Home, and in a place where I can find them once again!