- Genesis 24:67 (NKJV) Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (Also: Proverbs 3:5-6 // John 11:35)
Today’s verse (Genesis 24:67) is the culmination of a beautiful love story—how Isaac and Rebekah became husband and wife. One of the benefits of their marriage was that Isaac was “comforted after his mother’s death.”
My congregation averages about one funeral per week (people either directly or indirectly connected to our church). Recently, we have gone through a two month season in which we have lost some very close church family members. I mention this fact because my first audience for this blog is my own congregation. I know there are many of you grieving today. (And I am sure there are many others who are so gracious to read this blog that are also grieving.)
Having said that, that still doesn’t mean you will find comfort. However, today’s passage reminds us that finding comfort is possible.
At the risk of oversimplifying this very real and painful issue, let me point out a few things from the love story of Isaac and Rebekah that will help the grieving find comfort.
- First, it will take a while. We don’t how long, but counting the acceptable mourning time of Abraham’s day and then the journey to Rebekah’s homeland and the return journey it took at least many months and possibly several years. In other words, when the funeral service is over and you walk away from the grave, the grieving journey is just beginning. Living in the land of “no comfort” for a long while is just one of the realities of having a loved one die. You are not a weak, faithless or unpleasing-to-God Christian, God understands (even if friends and family do not).
- Second, always know that while you’re living in “no comfort land” God is working behind the scene on bringing comfort to you. Keep walking (living) while you wait (Genesis 24:62-63).
- Third, comfort will arrive through people God brings into your life. But don’t get in a hurry with this; allow God to bring someone into your life. It may be a new friend or devoting yourself to your family or church family or even a new spouse, but allow God to do the work. When you try to force relationships on your own while living in the land of no comfort you are making decisions based on pain not God’s plan and that is always a bad idea. (Read Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Finally, no one will ever replace the loved one you lost (we’re talking “comfort” here—not “cure”). In our verse today we see that Isaac took his new bride to his mother’s tent and there started a new relationship while remembering an old one. That is the beauty of the human heart when it comes to love; our capacity to love is unlimited. And when we begin to open our heart to other people it is never at the expense of those we have loved before.
- The ONE THING: Losing a loved one is never easy and finding comfort takes awhile, but if you will daily turn your loss and pain over to God he will direct you out of the land of “no comfort”.
Prayer: Unless you are very young you have almost certainly lost a loved one you held dear by death. Many times we do not allow ourselves to process that loss. Take a few moments today in your prayer time and reflect on the special person(s) that have passed away over the years. Remember them and talk to God about them.
Caring: There is almost certainly someone in your life that is grieving. Before the day is through give them a call and be a God-sent comforter. Hint: Don’t give advice, give yourself.