Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Christians and Sorrow

This morning as I sat at William's grave, I was so pleased that the Ebony & Ivory Crepe Myrtle we planted for his birthday is in full blooming splendor. As I sat on my swing, watering the grass and listening to the beauty of the bells, I thought about how much he would have enjoyed sitting beside me, just being still, holding my hand, and listening...
The wind, the bells, the birds, the horses...wonderful, peaceful sounds. My heart was full of joy.  And sorrow.  I'm fully convinced there is no better place on earth. And yet, I long for a better place. A place not of this world. A place where there is no sorrow, no tears, no goodbyes.
I feel like I am failing here. I cannot get beyond the heartache. Even the hope does not overpower it. And it is compounded by watching my family grieve and break and sorrow, yet being powerless to help them.
But for all the sorrow, there is peace.  There is relief in knowing that I am not in charge here.  It removes a great burden, knowing that God is in control, that He has a plan, and that nothing can thwart it.  In the end, there is victory over grief, sadness, death, sin.
I saw a discussion on a group I belong to today... IS SADNESS SIN? I feel terrible for what some people have to endure.  I know I have friends who are concerned for me and I appreciate it.  I appreciate it because instead of troubling me by telling me how I should behave or how long I'm allowed to grieve, my friends are driven to their knees in prayer for me, asking God to comfort me, seeking wisdom on how they can be His hands during such an awful time.  I am so blessed by that.  Grateful for those who understand that though grief feels like a perpetual oxymoron, it brings a world where opposites exist not in contrast to each other, but as companions.  Sorrow does not erase thankfulness.  Heartache does not abolish joy.  Grief does not expel peace.  They all come together, forming a new person.
Paul David Tripp says, "In times of death, Christians should be sadder than anyone else.  We know how sin brought death into the world.  We mourn not only for the loved one we have lost, but also for the fact that death continues to destroy.  We live in a place where something that was never meant to be has become common experience.  We know how wonderful life on earth could have been.
Yet we should also be the most hopeful of any who mourn.  God brings the best things out of the worst.  Even in the darkest moments, we are never alone.  The death and resurrection of Christ stand as a sure and reliable promise that someday death will die."
I am sad.  I expect that I will continue to be sad.  Every day.  For the rest of my life.  I could not stop missing him any more than I could stop loving him.  But the hope of joining him comforts me.  And in the darkest moments when I just don't feel like I can face another day, I know I am not alone.  He sends the Comforter to carry me, to strengthen me.  No, sorrow is not sin.  It is sorrow that drives us to our knees and into deeper relationship with the Father who created us.  It is sorrow that reminds us, this world is not our home.  Praise the Lord, there is more to this life...

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