Below is an excerpt from the first draft of the new book, “The Compassionate Shepherd.”
Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”
I would not consider myself an expert on grief. Even though, I have experienced much grief in my life personally, and have counseled people through the process, I still couldn’t say that I know all the nuances of grief. I do know, however that everyone will experience grief in their lives at some time.
The passage of Scripture that I opened this post with, gives us a hard truth that most of us don’t recognize. The “house of mourning,” is a place of learning. It is a period of time that everyone can relate to. Because, we will all, most likely, spend some time there. It’s not a place we enjoy, like the “house of feasting, or mirth,” yet it is the place where we can get in closer contact with the Lord. It is a place where the heart of the wise dwells.
Dear shepherd, you will spend much time in the “house of mourning,” but it will be to the benefit of yourself, and others. You will be called upon to enter into someone else’s pain and sorrow. Learn while you are there. You will also spend much time there personally. Those are the times that the Lord Himself will minister to your pain. You will learn things there, which can never be taught to you, apart from dwelling there for a season.
The “house of mourning” is a hard place, yet a beneficial place, for us to spend some time. Allow the lessons that we are to learn to sink into our hearts. We will be better for it, and we gain wisdom that we can use to help others.