Are you sad today? That’s cause for happiness!
Sorrow is the soft skill! Jesus was so good at sorrow that he was given the nickname “Man of Sorrows,” and described as, “acquainted with grief!” (Isaiah 53)
Sorrow is not popular in our society. We believe we are on this planet to pursue happiness. Feeling sorrow sets up disappointment for some who think that happiness means the absence of grief.
But the most joyous people are often the ones who have been deeply acquainted with grief and sorrow and have learned to walk through it. My friend, the late Jack Petitt of Chowchilla, used to say, “When you’re going through hell don’t stop to take pictures.”
In other words, we can experience sorrow as it comes. We don’t have to make a shrine out of it, but we can let it be a helpful part of nurturing compassion within us.
Not many people who would opt to have a sad day. Most of us want to have a happy, fulfilling day. And there’s nothing wrong with that—unless it causes us to get angry and upset about emotions like sorrow, confusion, unhappiness or other down-side emotions and events.
The Bible never shames anyone for having sorrow. In fact, we are told to have compassion and learn to weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)
Just today, my friend told me that his wife started crying. When he asked her about it, she responded, “I’m sad because I don’t want us to struggle with each other anymore.”
Instead of getting defensive, the husband slowed down and asked her it she’d like to talk about it. She did talk, and he listened.
In the end, without him doing anything more, or trying to fix things, she stopped, smiled, and said, “Thank you for listening. I feel better now.” The husband is learning.
The Bible says, If anyone is happy let them sing praises. If anyone is sad let them pray. (James 5:13) God is not angry when we are happy, and God is not angry when we are sad. He likes being with us either way.
We were told as kids: “Quit feeling sorry for yourself.” The message we heard on a deeper level was that sorrow is a bad, annoying, and, practically, sinful. As a result, many adults continue their “wrong” belief, and end up getting mad at themselves, and others, about sorrow.
Workaholics avoid sorrow by staying busy. Drug addicts avoid sorrow by staying medicated. Why not simple let God like and love us in times of sorrow? He is a ‘very present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1).
Paul, Jesus’ apostle, writes, “Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted…What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication!” (2 Corinthians 7:9–11, NKJV)
Are you sad? The Bible says that’s okay. In fact it may help you become a happier person in the long haul.
Giv’m Heaven! – John
John Parker, is a coaching pastor in the Simple Church of Chowchilla circle, which meets at 10 a.m., Sundays, Carty Center, 609 W. Robertson Boulevard. For information call: (209) 564-7201.