“Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better.” Eccl. 7:2-3 (NKJV)
Each of us has lost loved ones. Sometimes we lose them suddenly through a car accident or a stroke. Sometimes we lose them through long-term debilitating illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. However they may pass, it is important that we learn to grieve.
In our society, there is a tendency to think that displaying emotion in the face of loss is a sign of weakness. This is especially true among males. The old adage I heard growing up is to “be strong” by not showing emotion. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The verses for this devotional come from Ecclesiastes 7:2-3. Solomon was a man into which God imparted divine wisdom. He said that it was better to be with those grieving than those who are rejoicing because a sad countenance brings health to the heart. In Ecclesiastes 3, he said that there was a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to show emotion, especially tears of grief. There is healing in our sadness. Grieving is part of the healing process.
Why would it be better to spend time with mourners than those who rejoice? When someone has passed away, everyone who knew that person considers the brevity of life. Psalm 90:12 reads, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The reality of life sets in when someone passes away. We look at ourselves and think – “That could have been me!” When someone passes away, it is important for us to evaluate our lives and make adjustments. What are we doing with our time? If you died today, would you be right with God? Have you made amends with other people? It is wise for us to number our days and ponder our lives.
Grieving is part of numbering our days by remembering the days of those who have passed away.
We will continue next time with practical ways to grieve.
Kelly McDonald, Jr.