Romans 12:15 – Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 3:4 – a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. (NIV)
Our church was excited over the forthcoming wedding of two of our favourite young people. Their marriage had been the favourite topic of conversation for some time. Two days before the ceremony was to take place, three of the beloved older leaders of our church were killed in an automobile accident. Their funerals were planned for the day of the wedding. We wondered how we would be able to handle all this emotion at one time.
Our minister had been asked to perform both services. We prayed for the Lord to give him the strength to lead us through the day. The Lord filled our minister with His Holy Spirit and gave him the strength and fortitude to lead us through. As a congregation we gathered for the funerals of our beloved friends. Later in the day, we gathered for the wedding. Our minister was filled again with the Holy Spirit, but at this time, he was joyful and upbeat. The congregation absorbed his mood, and soon we were all merged into a celebration of newness — a new love, a new life, a new beginning for the young couple and for us.
This brought home vividly to me the versatility of our Lord and the power He has given us to change from one emotion to another. Jesus wept with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died. He expects us to "mourn with those who mourn". He turned the water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana so that the guests could have a good time.
Jesus expects us to be versatile people. We are expected to mourn and to rejoice and to have the wisdom to know when each is appropriate.
Prayer: Lord, give us the wisdom to know when to weep and when to rejoice, and the understanding to know that both emotions are gifts from You. Thank You for being with us in sorrow and in rejoicing. Amen.