Sorrow has to be the word as we look at our world today. Sorrow due to illness and loss. Sorrow due to civil unrest. Sorrow at the language of hate. Sorrow at the destruction of history. And sorrow because we seem unable to find our way forward.
But I was encouraged as I thought about Amy Carmichael’s thought, sorrow is lent for a while. Sorrow will pass. Time will heal our wounds and this whole thing will be reduced to a few chapters in a history book. But for today, sorrow is very real.
There’s a precious little scripture that reads, “O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me” (Isaiah 38:14). And David wrote, “My heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).
While we are in the grasp of sorrow, we can still look up. The Lord continues being the lifter up of our head. He will undertake for us. These are precious promises. And here’s one more to think about, “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better” (Ecclesiastes 7:3). God is perfecting our hearts through this process. We struggle to understand His method, but that doesn’t deter His truth!
Amy Carmichael’s comment on joy brought a few more scriptures to my mind. She said, “Joy is given.” Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” And Isaiah 61:3 promises the Lord will “give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
My video lesson discussed things we can learn through a time of sorrow, like a deeper intimacy with God, spiritual growth, and empathy for others. But today, I needed this thought – sorrow is lent; joy is given.
O, Lord, help us to endure and benefit from this time of great sorrow. May the promise of Your eternal purpose rest in our hearts as we wait for the morning of joy.
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
Light that Shines and Contentment and Captives are available on Amazon as Ebooks and paperback. These two books each contact twelve devotionals from the videos I have been posting.