This is the first thing I ever wrote “publicly” about my infertility. I put it out on the web on November 13, 2008. It was in response to a post about the Beatitudes (Matthew 5):
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” What is this all about?
I once read in a Bible study tool that the word “blessed” means “happy.” Happy are those who mourn for they will be comforted? This doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. Why mourn to be happy? Why not just be happy? I hear a song coming to mind.
This was my response:
Okay. I got stuck in the second paragraph where you define “blessed” as “happy.”
What if “blessed” doesn’t actually mean happy?
In the Greek (makarioi) the same word is used in the SOTM and in I Peter 3:14: “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.” This word, according to my Danker-Bauer’s Lexicon, is defined as “pertaining to being especially favored, blessed, fortunate, happy, priviliged.”
If we take away the concept of “happiness” as so narrowly defined by American (Christian) culture today, and instead focus on recognizing that being part of the Kingdom of God makes us favored or privileged or fortunate, I think the entire context of the beatitudes changes.
Being persecuted, or poor in spirit, or meek (not gentle…horrible translation of v. 5, by the way) or mourning makes us privileged to be part of the Kingdom of God. We are favored by the very Creator of the Universe. The abovementioned things are not pleasant, and certainly not earthly goals, but they are the things that award us the incredible privilege of being part of God’s very kingdom here on earth.
And I agree with your perspective of mourning for sin, but I think that “mourning” encompasses ALL things that cause grief, sin being chief among them, of course. But as one struggling with infertility and mourning that death of hope month after month, I don’t think God calls me to be “happy” about, but to find comfort in the fact that because I mourn as a child of the King, I will be welcomed as a privileged daughter by him someday. I am favored by the Creator of the Universe. I am fortunate to have Heavenly Father who grieves with me and has a special place in his heart just for me.
And the comfort mentioned in the SOTM may come later. Much much later…like in heaven.
And, oddly enough, interpreting “blessed” as fortunate or privileged instead of happy is comforting to me. Not arguing, of course. Just humbly & respectfully submitting my own thoughts on this matter!
I just wanted to post this for my own prosperity!!