Blessedly Meek

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5 (ESV)

Meek rhymes with weak.  But that is where the comparisons between the two end.   For meekness, much like being poor in spirit, requires humility.  In fact, meekness is humbleness.

Being meek is not the same as being mousy or milquetoast.  The fact is that being truly humble requires great strength.  We humans are sinfully wired to think of ourselves first.  True humility enables us to measure ourselves honestly – no more, no less.  Humility shows us that we are who we are and where we are in life not because of ourselves, but by the grace and love of God.

Indeed, God gives us humility and gentleness to open our hearts to truly love others – which, after all, is what we are truly called to do.  When we focus solely on ourselves, worrying about passing muster or meeting some artificial standard or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, thinking we are “all that and a big ol’ bag of chips”, how can we possibly love another?

I love Matthew Henry’s take on Matthew 5:5:

The meek are happy. The meek are those who quietly submit to God; who can bear insult; are silent, or return a soft answer; who, in their patience, keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcely keep possession of anything else. These meek ones are happy, even in this world. Meekness promotes wealth, comfort, and safety, even in this world.

As Jesus asked, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36, ESV)  None whatsoever.  Today’s earthly stuff is tomorrow’s kindling.  When Jesus talks about inheriting the world, He must be talking about what is important: love, true relationships, trust… the things an inflated ego steals from us.  Being meek is a key to living an honest, loving life in Christ to the fullest and, most importantly, being able to honestly reach others with the love of Jesus.

Blessed Grief

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:4 (ESV)

There is no sorrow so deep as mourning. It is pain so deep that, in 1969, psychologist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified five basic stages that grieving people generally experience: denial / isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Clearly, grief is a complex, difficult, agonizing process.

There are many things we can mourn: the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, moving away from home… Anyone who has faced an unfaceable situation; wished the world would just leave them alone; dealt with anger at their pain or the people around them or even God; wanted to make a deal to get passed the pain; felt like your world was crumbling around you (and maybe even gave up the urge to care)… you know how painful it is to mourn. Sometimes it feels like grief might press the breath right out of you.

Whatever your sorrow, whatever your pain, whatever you are mourning or grieving, know this: you are blessed in Christ. It most likely doesn’t feel like it. Indeed, you may feel a God has abandoned you.

You are blessed because, while mourning and grief and all the junk that go along with them are part and parcel of living in this fallen, sinful world, your pain will not last forever. For those who trust in Jesus Christ, there is always hope. God will see you through.

Trust in The Lord, for He is good. Don’t trust your feelings. Don’t bank on your emotions. Don’t believe the temptation to think God has abandoned you, or is mad at you, or is out to get you, or doesn’t exist or is anything less than the loving Father He says He is.

Does it mean your pain will completely go away? That you’ll never experience loss of this magnitude again? Maybe. Maybe not. What you can rest in is the love of God. He will pull you out, or He will lead you through. Either way, you are blessed, for you will find great comfort in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He loves you. He will never leave you or abandon you. Even when you can’t sense His presence, He is there. Rest in that.