by John Michalak
“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.”
Isaiah 40:1, 57:18
People mourn in different ways.
At some funerals, people celebrate joyfully that a loved one is finally at home with God. At other funerals, the loss of life is nothing to celebrate. Family and friends can barely breathe underneath all their grief.
And so, there are also different ways to comfort someone who mourns. Some are encouraged by words; others by food or flowers. Some are comforted just by your presence. Others are comforted by you sticking with them long after the other well-wishers have moved on.
In Isaiah’s day, the loss mourned wasn’t just of loved ones, but also the loss of freedom to conquering nations, the loss of personal and religious identity, the loss of hope for any future worth enjoying.
Whether someone experiences the loss of a loved one, the loss of hope, or the loss happiness due to sin or poor decision-making, it’s important to seek God on how best to comfort them. A hug, silence, consolation, encouragement, or your simple presence—this is your opportunity to stand in the place of God, our greatest Comforter. It’s also your opportunity to remind the bereaved one that Christ will one day return to heal every broken heart and to provide the eternal comfort of a world free of sin, death, and suffering.
Prayer: God, send Your Holy Spirit to me so that He can lead me to comfort those who mourn the loss of a loved one. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.