I begin this entry an early December morning after reading my Reflections devotional for today. "Sorrow and Rejoicing" is the title. God's timing always amazes me. I strayed from my customary ritual of reading my two devotionals then journaling in what has become my prayer room. It's a leisurely Saturday. Prompted to write, I got my coffee, sat in my recliner, and noticed the church devotion on the lamp table.
As I flipped to December 7th and saw the title, my first thought was, 'Well, He's got something specific for me to hear.' After, what is now, too close to ten years, God knows my conflict of these two emotions. He also knows the reasons for the conflict.
The story of the Baby Jesus' birth is a beautiful and joyous one. Still, the shadow of His purpose follows. He was born to die a brutal and sacrificial death for the sins of the world. Even still, rejoicing comes at His Resurrection.
Sorrow is generally the result of the loss of something loved and cherished, regret for things said or done, for unfulfilled hopes and dreams, or for things that can never be. Sorrow comes after experiencing the joy of loving, hoping - living, and then losing cherished relationships, losing loved ones, and losing hope.
However, when we place our hope is in Jesus Christ, we can rest in His promises. Even though our sorrow at the losses in this life can prompt the sting of tears - even years later, when Jesus is the source of our joy, we can live joyously amid sorrow.
The conflict comes in response to my ability to do this very thing. I feel like no one truly understands the depth of my sorrow at being forced to live separately from my husband for many more years than is justifiable; or, of greater importance - more than is lawful. No one truly understands the anger I live with about the doubt and patronization dealt to me from a perverse and abusive judicial system, nor the feeling of being powerless against it.
Few ever see my sorrow, anger, helplessness, and pain - but it's there. It's always there. The pain resides deep within, beneath the joy I live out confident that God is in control. The event that delivered such sorrow has brought with it, faith in Jesus to those I love. A faith that might have never been realized absent the pain. My faith deepened as a result of my suffering, to a level I would never have experienced without it.
Still, no explanation nor any description of the pain or joys we experience does anything to change reality.
Rejoicing and sorrow - these highs and lows, are all part of the same mountain I climb in this life, while I await the ultimate joy promised when I meet my Savior Jesus.
Melinda started her fifth year of her devotions reading Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest. In 2015 she has made the commitment to share what this year's journey. Taking a detour, she began living Every Day With Jesus