About a year ago I read the following from a book by Nancy Guthrie called, The One Year Book of Hope: "To experience sorrow does not eliminate joy. In fact, I've come to think that sorrow actually deepens our capacity for joy-that as our lows are lower, so are our highs higher. Deep sorrow expands our ability to feel deeply. We feel sadder than we ever knew we could, sadder than we think we can survive. But our sorrow prepares us to experience a more solid joy than we ever known before. When joy surfaces, it allows us to see that deep beneath the chaos and catastrophe is the strong current of confidence that we can be content in the sovereign hands of the God."
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Deeper Joy As a Result of Sorrow
It is possible to have joy in the midst of and as a result of deep sorrow. This comes from a deep relationship with the Lord and by the power of the Holy Spirit. It certainly does not come from our own efforts or inclinations.
I remember the deep sorrow of watching my first husband, Wayne, deteriorate in his health step by step. I remember the anxiety and concerns of how best to address his needs during that time. I remember the discouragement of knowing he would not be able to ultimately win the battle against his disease on this earth. Yet I also remember this as a time when I drew very close to the Lord. The intimacy of that relationship brought joy and comfort to me. The same was true when I lost Wayne to death. The Lord and the promises of His Word became increasingly precious to me. Also opportunities for minister to other people came about because of the sorrows I had experienced. This added much joy to my life.
As I have written before, almost 15 months ago I remarried after over eight and a half years of widowhood. I can tell you that it is true that the joys of the highs and the thankfulness for God's blessings are better because of the past sorrows. There are adjustments in a new marriage, but one looks at even these minor things in the light of God's love. My new husband, Bob, has been a wonderful rock and support to me. I love and appreciate him more because of his support for me now, but also because of past trials that I have experienced in my life.
There are several family members in my life who are currently going through some difficult struggles. These family members are people for whom I have deep concerns and for whom I sometimes grieve. Yet in the Lord and His blessings, there is a deep joy that only He can give even in these situations. There are also many prayers that God has answered and is answering in regards to these family members. God is always good, and for that reason alone we can always be joyful.
Whether you are a caregiver or have lost a dear loved one or whether you are going through some other deep heartache and sorrow, run to the Lord. He will give you a measure of His peace and joy even in the midst of the sorrow. He will also use that sorrow to bring you great joys in the future.