How Long Will You Mourn?

“The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”” 1 Samuel 16:1

Have you ever mourned, either someone or some experience? I’ve mourned the deaths of great-grandmas, grandparents, friends, seasons of life ending, and deeply held dreams. Each instance of mourning has been different for me. For example, while all deaths have a level of sadness sometimes we are able to move to thankfulness and peace sooner than later. My Great-Grandma Bellows lived to be 101 1/2. I was sad she wasn’t with us anymore but celebrated her life and moved to a place of peace smoothly. Alternately, with the very unexpected death of my Grandma Grosse and the deaths of friends from illness, that transition has been harder and taken more time.

What about when a season of life ends or a dream you’ve been holding on to is clearly not a part of God’s plan, at least not in way you wanted it to be? Yeah, that’s hard. I almost think those are more difficult because not everyone can relate to that as most can with death. People tend to judge one another and determine for us that it is time to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and move on, not really understanding why we are struggling so much.

Maybe 2020 brought a lot for you to mourn. Others may have moved on quicker than you have or not seemed have been as impacted. Hear me when I say that being sad for what didn’t happen or what did happen is okay. God even tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 that “there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven” which includes weeping and mourning. Look above at 1 Samuel 16:1. God doesn’t chastise Samuel for mourning the failing of Saul as king of Israel. Mourning is necessary. What God DOES say is that the time for mourning has passed. I believe God mourned Saul as Samuel did, but He also knew that something greater was on the horizon. If Samuel had stayed stuck in that state of despair, the arrival of David (yes, the one with the slingshot) would have been delayed. It couldn’t have been stopped for God’s plan WILL find a way. However maybe Samuel wouldn’t have had the privilege of being a part of it.

I once read that “when we’re wrapped in garments of mourning we’re unavailable for whatever else God has for us.” (Kelly Minter) What is God telling you today? He is the only one with the right to tell you the time of mourning has passed. Is it time to wash off the ashes and put new clothes on? If it is, a new season and a new time has come for which God needs you. If it is not yet time, be assured a new season WILL come.

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