I sit to write this with a heavy heart. Nearly two weeks ago, my wife’s great-uncle passed away. On Monday, October 1st I was notified that my grandmother (Yaya) passed away. On Thursday, October 11th I learned that my dear friend and brother in faith passed away. Sunday the 7th of October was 4 years since we lost Emily to suicide. And today, October 8th, we were notified that my wife’s grandfather is in the hospital unresponsive. It is fair to say that we are in a season of sorrow.
In seasons of sorrow many people have a tendency to get angry and question God; Where are you? How can you let this happen? How is this good? How is this love? Do you even exist?
My hope in this blog is to maybe offer a different perspective from my life and God’s word. First, I want to state something that may be obvious, but I am hurting right now. I am full of sorrow. I feel overwhelmed. But, it is okay. One of the most powerful verses in the Bible is found in John 11:35 which says, “Jesus wept.” These two words offer hope in our sorrow. Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, the giver of life, the resurrection, wept. He understood our loss and pain. He understood our frustration. Mary and Martha were grieving the loss of their brother, Jesus’ friend; and even though He knew He was about to raise Lazarus from the grave, He experienced our morning.
So why does God allow seasons of sorrow in our lives?
2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
Sorrow provides an opportunity for self-examination. When we experience loss, we can look at our relationships, how we treat others, how we encourage others. Sorrow can produce earnestness in our lives, an earnestness to make changes. Sorrow can produce indignation over wrongs, alarm for dangers in our life, longing for our friends and family, longing for God, longing for our eternal home. Sorrow reminds us that we are but temporary residents in a strange land. Sorrow produces concern for others, for their pain, for their struggles. Sorrow produces a desire to make changes in our lives and in the world around us. Sorrow provides an opportunity for us to draw closer to God.
At the beginning of the book of Job, Job is acting as a priest for his children, making sacrifice for his children just in case they sinned. After experiencing great sorrow and loss, Job became a priest who offered sacrifice for his three friends who had spoke falsely about God.
Today’s sorrow is the opportunity for us to see and experience God’s great victories and, eventually, God will remove all of our sorrows, all of our shame, all of our pain, and wipe away all our sins.
“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5