Sorrow lit upon the rail of my balcony in the form of a strange dark bird and suddenly, my average day took a downward turn. Grey clouds, the same deep-grey, blue-to-black hue and texture of the unwanted bird, rolled in to gorge the once crystal sky. Great, swelling clouds of foreboding impregnated my mind as the atmosphere charged with threat. The announcement of my loss came like lightning and with each rolling pound of thunder unwanted reality forced its way in. Then the rain began. First, there were only a few cold, hard drops but those drops drummed faster with each passing moment as the new order settled in. Torrents of water flooded over me and through me, leaving me jeopardized and drowning in a muddy lake of emotional pain. The bird of sorrow opened up to sing with her call echoing my thoughts, “All is lost! All is lost!” Grief took me to my knees and then laid me down. I lay deflated in a heap of agony, overcome by the loss of what that dreadful bird stole from me and the fearful pain left behind to haunt in the void. In a single moment, the blessings I took for granted were gone! I and my life completely and forever changed because of that nasty bird sorrow and the terrible message she bore on devastating wings.
Sorrow, the harbinger of death, locked me in iron talons and carried me to the very pit of death. That dark place, apart from the living God, created for those who turn their back on God; those who choose to live by their own devices and not by God’s every word. Death, allowed by God and imposed on life to limit the time human beings may live in this fallen state, is sorrow’s king and the grave, their imminent domain. Sin produces sorrow and all sin ends in death. In my broken state, this place appears as my home but I am not a child of sorrow and death, even though I often sin. I belong to Jesus. In Him, I am forgiven and in Him I hope for all others who also, sin. Sorrow and death are not my permanent state and even when sorrow drags me off to the grave, Jesus doesn’t abandon me there; not even when I despair and think to abandon God. My soul, though heavy with sadness, can’t be held in the grip of death for long. Jesus is faithful to comfort me in my emotional suffering and heal the wounds dealt to me by grief. In Him I rest.
My eyes open, I rise and stretch. I grab a cup of coffee and head out to my deck and on the railing sits, a pure white dove! Her soft white feathers reflect the new-blue of the morning sky; and her wings sparkle with life! Her coo faintly echoes the sorrowful song of her sister Sorrow and I recognize this peaceful new bird as Sister Joy. The dead place within, warmed by the Holy Spirit, replenished as acceptance soothes my agony. Healing wounds itch and ache but “joy comes in the morning” and I am on the mend. I marvel how Joy and her sister Sorrow work in tandem, under the expert guidance of God, to draw me closer to Jesus and bless me in ways I could never understand without experiencing sorrow, as well as joy. These twin sisters, though not identical, are very much alike and they walk through life hand-in-hand. The point where their hands clasp and join is the birth-place of empathy, compassion, and mercy. The dead place sorrow left in my heart overflowed with life. I turned my eye to look for Joy, in the form of that beautiful dove and suddenly, she takes wing! I watch as she soars high, taking my sad thoughts with her, as I too begin to rise above my wounded state. Though I cannot like Sister Sorrow and I will always miss those she takes from me, I thank God for allowing her into my life. The work of Sister Sorrow creates more room for Sister Joy!
Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.