Tag Archives: Sorrow

THE LOOK OF DESPAIR

“…all joy is darkened…” —Isaiah 24:11

I recently took my wife to the hospital for an out-patient surgery. While I waited in the designated waiting area, a family came in with their grayed haired mother on a wheel chair. She was about 60 years old and waited to be taken to surgery.  While the family casually chatted amongst themselves, this dear mother just sat with a very gloomy look on her face. She did not say a word. She only stared blankly out the window. She was obviously depressed.

After a few minutes her son had to leave to go to work. He knelt next to his mother and asked his wife to take a picture of them with her cell phone. He wanted one more picture of him with his Mom, in case she didn’t make it through the surgery. He smiled but his mother continued to stare with a blank expression. Other family members tried to coax her, “Come on, Mom… Smile!” But, she would not smile or say a word. She didn’t see anything to smile about! It was a very sad scene.

As I reflect on that scene now, I wish I would have interrupted that family’s conversation to offer a word of hope. They certainly needed it.

We who are saved have the word of hope that can cheer a sorrowful spirit if they will receive it. If you see someone who looks like their world is coming to an end, offer them a word of hope and something to smile about.

A Paradox

“I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart…” —Romans 9:2

Paul confessed he had a “continual sorrow” in his heart over the lost condition of his kinsmen according to the flesh.  Every soul conscious Christian feels the same way about lost family members.

But this “continual sorrow” is a paradox when you consider Paul’s exhortation to “rejoice evermore” (1 Thess. 5:16). Paul also wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord alway” (Phil. 4:4). Paul further stated this paradox— As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing  (2 Cor. 6:8-10). How can one have continual sorrow and rejoice evermore at the same time?

I believe the answer to this paradox is, the “sorrow” is in the heart and the “rejoicing” is shown outwardly on our countenance.  While you may wear a “happy face” outwardly, in your heart you are weeping for your lost loved ones.