The Oak Hills Church family is mourning a significant loss today in the passing of our oldest member and wife of our founding pastor. In many ways, this marks the end of an era for our church: with the exception of time spent serving in interim ministry, Margaret has always been here. From the very beginning, Margaret has served Oak Hills Church in a number of ways. We owe much to her and her husband Howard.
Although incredibly painful and difficult in the moment, grief and mourning are common experiences in human life. The obvious moments come in the loss of a loved one, but we also grieve changes such as moving, a new job, selling a favorite vehicle, empty-nesting, and pets. Grief is never easy.
Psalm 6 (the suggested psalm for today) gives voice to the reality of grief, mourning, and suffering of all kinds. In this psalm of lament, David seems to be speaking about a particular enemy, but the emotions he describes feeling more closely resembles what we so often experience while mourning.
There are no easy answers to grief; there's no quick way to just plow through and get past it. In fact, often our attempts to avoid and find a way around leave us in an even deeper sorrow.
But Psalm 6 can provide a small sliver of comfort. Psalm 6 gives us permission to express our grief in way that the world often tries to keep us from doing. There is permission to grieve, to weep, to wail, to groan, to flood our bed and couch with tears. And there is comfort is knowing that God also wept when faced with excruciating loss (John 11:35). But it also because his own experience with sorrow, that we know that the best kind of comfort can only come from him (Ps 6:9)...
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
He hears our cries, he knows our pain, and we have his mercy, his comfort, his grace...