There has been sadness in my household over the past few weeks. Our family cat of 16 years had to be put down. Trixie came into our lives when my children were young and experienced life with them. She was with them through several moves, graduations, first dates, breakups, first jobs, and all the ups and downs that came with puberty and young adulthood.
Needless to say, my adult children are missing not just a cat, but a member of our family.
As I thought about it, I realized that there are only a few periods of time in my life where there hasn’t been a pet of some sort in my household. We got a cross-eyed Siamese kitten that we (my Dad) named Gomer when I was very young and he lived until I was in high school. And the list can go on from there. So perhaps, I am a little sad as well.
The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: …a time to weep and a time to laugh.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 – NIV)
Genesis 6:6 (NIV) tells us, “The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” How this verse breaks my heart. That mankind could be so wicked that God regretted creating us.
When Jacob died, the people “lamented loudly and bitterly.” (Genesis 50:10 – NIV) Joseph and all of the Israelites were saddened by the loss of the patriarch of this clan. They showed their love and gratitude by their mourning.
Nehemiah was saddened by the condition of the walls in Jerusalem. When he entered the king’s presence, the king asked Nehemiah “why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” (Nehemiah 2:2)
Jesus experienced sadness. At Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus wept at the loss of a very close and dear friend. “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35 – NIV)
After John the Baptist was beheaded, we can assume Jesus was sad because “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” (John 14:13 – NIV)
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told His disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Matthew 28:26 – NIV) Jesus knew the time was coming when He would be separated from His Father because of the sin of mankind. Separation from God will bring sadness to our hearts…here on earth and for eternity.
The good news is that God cares when we are sad and it is His desire to help us through the pain. Psalm 34:18 (NIV) says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God will save us from the sadness we feel.
Jesus shares that spiritual joy comes to “those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 – NIV) Oh, to be comforted by the God of heaven; His only Son, the Messiah; and the gift God has given, the Holy Spirit.
It does get better. Psalm30:5b (NIV) says, “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Rejoicing will come. God has promised it. And if God promises it, He will come through and He will do it.
Sadness is part of life. Unfortunately events happen that cause us to be sad. And I believe if we don’t know some sadness in our lifetime, we will never be able to fully know the great joys in our lives. I also believe, we must give our sadness to God and allow Him to turn it to joy. I’ll go back to Ecclesiastes…there is a time to weep, but thankfully, there is a time for laughter.
Today I choose to laugh. To rejoice. To allow God’s comfort to cover me. What do you choose today?
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,