Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finding Joy in the Sorrow

One of the most difficult places to find Joy is in our sorrows. Words like “rejoice, consider it joy, blessed are you when…” kind of fall flat on the hearts of those in grief. They are dying inside and the power of their grief cannot be denied. These are legitimate feelings. They cannot act as though what happened wasn’t significant. Grief is the price we pay for loving someone.

In moments like these, Joy isn’t our greatest need. During those times God has something different in mind.
Sorrows need Comfort. When I am in the midst of sorrow I need the warmth of God’s presence as my companion and closest friend. I need Him holding me as we walk through this valley together. When I am overwhelmed, God seeks a different path to restore me.

A famished man doesn’t need an all-you-can-eat buffet. Things have changed inside. His stomach has shrunk. He needs smaller portions to begin the process of restoration.

In sorrow, I don’t need Joy…yet. I haven’t lost the gift within me. Joy is still present but now must take a less-prevalent role. Comfort is what sustains me. His Comfort becomes the light for my darkness. The path back to Joy is still there and I will return to it, but for now Comfort is the grace gift that holds me tight.

Staying on that path is an indication of my confidence in God. That “this too shall pass.” In the meantime, though, I am not sinning by being sad. Even if the sadness returns later. But if I get stuck in my sadness to the point that I deny the work of God bringing me healing and restoring my Joy, there is a point at which that denial becomes doubt which creates a battle within my spirit. I must press on.

Sorrow cries out for Comfort. My tears need wiping, not denying. I need to feel God’s compassion. Out of His Comfort comes Peace. As Peace begins to reign my confidence in Him as being good and accomplishing what concerns me returns, and along with it comes my Joy. I have made it back to my Joy spot once again—that place of trusting Him with all my soul, mind, body and broken heart.

If you carry sorrow, seek His Comfort. If you know His Comfort receive His Peace. When you recognize His Peace, declare your trust. When you declare your trust in Him, your Joy will be restored.

Question: what do you fight that keeps you from Joy?

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