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By Rebekah Martin

This past month we have lost a lot. Trips cancelled, weddings postponed, businesses shut down. In what seems like the blink of an eye, dinners with friends, evenings at the movie theater, appointments at the salon, even hugs and handshakes, all taken away. 

And in the midst of that, we may feel the pressure to stay joyful and smiling all the time. We may begin to think that it’s selfish to be upset. But let me just encourage you. God wants to hear your heartbreak. 

When we resist the pain of grief, when we withhold that emotion, we don’t allow God to take it from us. We bury it deep within ourselves and tell ourselves to move forward, to plaster on a smile and soldier on. But God doesn’t want to hear the fake “I’m fine”. He wants our authentic hearts. Jesus says in Matthew, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 It’s okay to acknowledge it. To look at the situation surrounding us right now and say, this is painful. 

The Psalms are filled with songs of people crying out God, telling him of their pain and sorrow. Not to wallow in it, but to give it over to him. Because I think the most beautiful thing about our God is that he doesn’t just take our pain away, but in the midst of it, he grieves alongside us. 

Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God; they have no regard for you. But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me. Psalm 86:14-17

Part of being the church is showing the world how to respond in situations like this. To show the world it’s okay to be broken hearted, but not to despair because there is a God who sees us, who sits beside us and comforts us.

Spend some time in prayer honestly talking to God, don’t hold back your emotional reaction toward this situation, and ask him to bring you his comfort. Begin to pray for opportunities to have honest conversations with those around you, whether in person or through text, and see how they are handling this. Encourage each other and pray for comfort for one another. 

Prayer: Have an honest conversation with God. Share with him things that are breaking your heart.  

Action: Encourage others to do the same. Comment on this devotion.

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