Day 27: Ibukunoluwa #28DayChallenge

Today’s post is for my second son, Samuel Ibukunoluwa. Almost two years ago, I wrote and posted a poem for my first son, Lemuel Ayomide, who was a little over a year old at the time. You can read it here. Now I have written one for Samuel who turns 1 in a few days (whose name Ibukunoluwa means “The Lord’s Blessing”, and who I call Little Lion). It’s been such a joy to watch him and his brother grow, and we are grateful for such gifts from God, and for the privilege of raising them to become wise, courageous men.

IBUKUNOLUWA

The blessing of the Lord that makes rich
And brings no sorrows with it

Planted by the river, your leaves never wither
Instead, your fruits spring forth in season

A bundle of blessings, crafted with precision
You cry, and then laugh, and then cry again

Passionate tears that melt our delicate hearts
Ringing laughter that brightens up our days

As a river floods its banks in the rainy season
So you overwhelmed us on your arrival

From a tiny helpless baby, we watched you grow
Into a fearless toddler, determined to discover

Yet we see you going much farther, becoming
Through knowledge, a mighty man of valor

I hope you enjoyed the poem. I’d like to hear your thoughts about it in the comments. Although it has been quite a stretch for me, but I am finally wrapping up my 28-day challenge tomorrow. So excited about this! Thanks for reading, and I will see you tomorrow!

Blessed are those who Mourn

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matt. 5:4, NIV)

Hello! Happy New Year to you. I hope your 2022 is coming along well. I pray it will be a year of growth and maturity in your faith, one without limits and boundaries. I pray that through God’s wisdom you will exceed your greatest imagination in your work and experience God’s fulness in every aspect of your life every day.

I wanted to take a few moments to share some things I have been learning with you. In the first quarter of this year, we have been focusing on “The Beatitudes” in my local church. The Beatitudes reflect the ideals of God’s kingdom. Through them, Jesus teaches us who is considered blessed, lucky, or enviable by God’s standard – and they are opposite to what an average human being would imagine!

For today, I will focus on one beatitude, “Blessed are those mourn”. The mere suggestion that one who mourns is blessed is bizarre to many of us. How should we consider a sorrowful person blessed? We all want to be happy always. Why then does the Lord call one who mourns “blessed”? Because they will be comforted? As sensible as that sounds, being comforted only sounds like a remedy for the problem. Should we not consider one who does not have to mourn blessed? Of course, Jesus is not asking that we create situations where we mourn, he is only speaking to the blessedness of those who find themselves in such experiences (usually, all of us, at one point or the other).

We must recognize that equity and justice are key elements of God’s kingdom. So, God’s purpose is always to give disadvantaged people the opportunity to be restored to a state others exist in. This is the first key message behind this beatitude. The Lord recognizes that human life is often besieged by sorrow, so he reaches out to tell those who mourn or grieve that they will receive comfort. The unique blessedness of such comfort is that it is the Lord Himself who brings them comfort, and this enables them to comfort others (2 Cor. 1:4). Experiencing God’s comfort also brings us into a closer relationship with him, so our lives reflect His wisdom and guidance in our daily choices and decisions.

As humans, we are born naked and possess nothing. We then begin to acquire knowledge, relationships, possessions, and wealth. If we lose any of these during our lives, it brings us grief or causes us to mourn. Especially painful is the loss of a loved one. Yet that very loss is a reminder of whence we came and an opportunity to draw near to God as we attempt to fill the void. Indeed, loss finds a place in God’s plan for our lives – tough as that can be to say or accept. Our drawing near to God in moments of grief is a unique experience that allows God to touch, not just our thoughts or desires, but our emotions, raw as they may be. We experience true divine healing as God opens our hearts to love beyond loss(es).

A second key message tied to the blessedness of mourning is the message of repentance. Sin draws us away from God and leads to the loss of the greatest thing in life – our connection with God. And so, it is those who truly recognize and mourn this unique loss, mourning their depravity and fallen nature, their wickedness, and moral failures, that can truly be considered blessed because then they find divine comfort in forgiveness of sins and restoration to God. (Psa. 32:1-2). Such people arise with zeal for the Lord and with a determination to help restore others to God because they know the difference between darkness and light. One who mourns or grieves for their sins is truly blessed!

Mourning, whether for our natural losses or our sins (the sins of others) is considered a blessing only because it provides an opportunity for God to comfort us and strengthen our relationship with him. In moments of grief, we experience God’s nearness the most, because we are at our most vulnerable. But if we do not draw near to God in those moments, then the mourning goes to waste and there is no blessedness. May God draw our heart to repentance concerning sins we have glossed over, and may He truly bring us comfort if/when we experience natural losses. Amen!

God is near to those who are broken-hearted and saves such as have a contrite spirit (Psa. 34:18, NKJV)