[reprinted from December 6, 2012]
By the rivers in Babylon we sat and cried when we remembered Jerusalem.
On the poplar trees nearby we hung our harps.
Those who captured us asked us to sing; our enemies wanted happy songs. Psalm 137:1-3 (NCV)
I am tired of crying to you.
Every night my bed is wet with tears; my bed is soaked from my crying. Psalm 6:6 (NCV)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NCV)
It’s amazing to me that we Christians too often believe that if we really have faith that we will not be sad or cry or just have “a bad day.” The psalms are filled with the phrase “crying out to God.” I think that is more than “calling.” There is emotion and probably tears in that call to God.
Sometimes this life just – stinks. (You can put many different words in place of “stinks”!) There are things that happen that no amount of spin can make it OK. God never said that His children wouldn’t have suffering or sadness. In fact from Genesis to Revelation, the opposite is declared. When Adam and Eve left Paradise, God told them they would “labor” and “sweat.” This is the world we live in. There is suffering and pain. But we also have Hope. Jesus came and suffered and died. He showed us that this is how it is when we live in this world and how to live in this world. Even Jesus wept and I believe more than once (John 11:35, Luke 13:34 and 22:40-44). Then He conquered death and went back to heaven to prepare the Paradise where we will live together.
So why am I writing this today? I believe God is telling me to acknowledge my times of sadness just as I embrace the laughter and joy in my life. It’s OK to weep! He wants me to come to Him with tears and feelings of being overwhelmed. “Come in, Jody. Have a seat. Here’s a tissue. I’m here for you.” And He will listen. He will help me to sort through the emotions and words that are swirling around me. He will show me how to separate the truth of my life from the deception of the Accuser, Satan. Satan would tell me that God expects me to hold my head up and that crying shows that I don’t really believe in God enough. Hogwash! God knows my heart. God knows what we have been through together. I know that God’s strength can get me through anything! I will be healthier spiritually and physically if I take my cry to God and leave it with Him instead of carrying it around like a ball and chain that I refused to notice.
One of the first patients I cared for my freshman year in school was a woman with breast cancer. The tumor was the size of a softball. She had found the lump when it was tiny but for various reasons, she had decided to ignore it. And now here she was in the hospital, dying. Ignoring something because it is difficult can produce far worse results. It is fear and lies that sorrow will never get better or it is pain that is unbearable. It is another ruse of Satan to keep us isolated and alone.
Darrell Evans wrote a song that says, “I’m trading my sorrows. I’m laying them down for the joy of the LORD.” I believe that in the strength of Jesus and with the knowledge of His Hope that He gives to me, I can acknowledge what is in my heart and take it to the Physician who replaces those emotions, those hurts, and fills the now clean empty place with His joy and His love.
Trading My Sorrows written and sung by Darrell Evans