Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
But then there is hope. The resurrected Jesus has overcome death and despair. In my devotional times in the morning, I have learned that this sorrow has a purpose: it keeps us from becoming too attached to this earthly life. My friend Jill gave me a devotional book I had mentioned I wanted called "Beside Still Waters, Words of Comfort for the Soul." What a powerful insight this book has been for me. Here is a quote:
"Have you found that trouble cuts the cords that tie you to earth?...Trials drive us from earth. If all went well, we would begin to say, "Soul, relax." But when things go amiss, we want to be gone...Happy is the trouble that loosens our grip of earth."
I thought that was profound.
I have recently discovered journaling my prayers and thoughts. I had heard of people doing that before, but I always thought it was a kind of a vulnerable thing to do. I wondered what would happen if someone were to read my journal, so I had never done it. But I am finding that journaling keeps my focus and comforts me. Going back and rereading my thoughts lets me see where progress has been made, and where it hasn't. Maybe I will burn it someday. Maybe I won't. But for now, it's what I need.
People handle sorrow and despair, whatever the cause, in different ways. I have always turned to frantic activity when I am troubled. I know I am not the only one who does that. I remember after my grandfather died, my grandmother repainted her living/dining room using burgundy and pink paint. It was actually kind of pretty. I commented once on how much energy she had, and she said, "You know, I always wondered about people who redecorated after someone died. I would think "He must have left her some money." But now, I understand it."
I have thought about her saying that a lot lately, as sorrows want to multiply. There is a need in me to 'put things back in order'. I have almost put my beloved crocheting aside, because quiet activity lets my mind run free, and that's not good right now. Instead, if my mind starts to overwork, I frantically start cleaning or rearranging. The activity gives me a feeling of control when things are out of control. But it has it's downside, too. At this very moment, I am sitting in a bedroom turned upside down, because I tried to out run my mind yesterday, tearing my room apart to wash windows and wash curtains and clean closets and so on. Now comes the task of putting it all back together!
I know that I - and you, if you are going through trials right now - will be alright if we keep looking to the Lord. Our trials and sorrows may not end for a while. On this earth, maybe they never will. But in our heavenly eternal reward, Jesus will wipe away all our tears.
I will end here with another quote from "Beside Still Waters:"
Go in the name of God. Meet your difficulties calmly and fairly. Do not have any plans or tricks, just commit yourself to God. This way, you may confidently find deliverance. If you can only trust and praise God, you will see marvelous things that will utterly astonish you!
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10