Sorrow can be like a stab in the back—painful and alarming. Sorrow is not easy to swallow when it is sudden, like an unexpected car accident. Or it can tarry like a terminal disease. Sorrow saps hope from your heart and courage from your countenance. It is a drain on the disposition in the mightiest of men. You cannot hide sorrow, for it shows in your face and flows through your words. Like an uninvited guest, sorrow may stay longer than you intended and become a nuisance that never seems to go away. Sorrow makes a heart sad, it weighs on the mind, and it steals away most of your motivation.
Sorrow comes with death. When you lose someone you love dearly, sorrow is a natural and healing outcome. In most cases, you must first tread through the sand of sorrow before you can arrive at the sea of gladness. It is a process through which your Savior accompanies you, for He understands. He was a man of sorrow who was acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). Sorrow, for your Savior, is not a foreign language. He is fluent, and has survived its purging process. Sorrow is not static, for it moves you to seek out what matters most. When sorrow arrives at the doorstep of your life, your Savior’s presence becomes more precious than ever before. Sorrow may come in the form of a teenager who chooses not to talk anymore. This breaks your heart. However, this too shall pass. A teen’s transition into young adulthood is hardest for them. Their internal conflict of confidence and emerging emotions is enough to cause anyone to clam up. They want to be on their own, so they think they don’t need their parents anymore. This semi-rebellious rejection is a magnet for sorrow because it hurts to not be needed anymore.
But Jesus is the Savior of your sorrows. His grace is like a miracle-working detergent that removes sorrow’s deepest stains. He can erase sorrows that have etched themselves into your emotions. He can extract sorrows that have embedded themselves into the archives of your attitude. He can lift sorrows that have burdened your heart and have weighed down your actions to the point of inertia. Therefore, allow His love to squeeze the sorrow from your weeping heart as if from a water-soaked towel. He can wring the sorrow out that has disabled your discipleship. It is okay to be sorrowful, but it is not okay to remain sorrowful. Jesus can remove your sorrow by His comfort or His cleansing. Your removal of sorrow may be contingent on your confession and repentance of sin. Whatever the source of your transgression, give it over to the Lord. Sorrow seeps out of a heart that often does business with the Almighty. Your sorrow may be the natural outcome of grief or regret. But now is the time for Christ to bring closure and heal your heart. Sorrow need not keep you sad indefinitely, for it is a pass-through to His peace. Furthermore, do not bear your burden alone. Allow your community of Christians to love you through this time of trial. Joy is with you in Jesus and His followers.
Sorrow is for a season, but joy and peace are for an eternity. Tomorrow’s hope deletes today’s sorrow.
Boyd Bailey, Seeking Daily the Heart of God (Atlanta: Wisdom Hunters, 2011).