Giving in to Sorrow…

Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray ‘Father save Me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father bring glory to your name…”- John 12:27-28

Sorrow is described as:

A feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others.

When Jesus spoke the passage above, I’m sure it came as a result of great sorrow. Maybe he wanted to have three more years of ministry. Maybe he was grieving the lost life of the one who would betray him. Maybe he was mourning the torment that was before him. Or maybe he was in deep pain for the journey the people of faith who were to begin their journey after he left them physically. We don’t know why Jesus was feeling sorrowful at that time, but we do know he was resolved to continue in his purpose.

When we examine our lives and see that there are situations, circumstances, and experiences that seem to miss the mark of our expectations, sorrow is sure to come. The question is:

Will we give in to that sorrow for God’s will to be done for the lives of others?

In my own selfishness many times I have allowed sorrow to become bitterness because I was disappointed, and felt like something wasn’t fair. Besides, don’t I deserve blessings? My father is THE KING OF KINGS for goodness sakes! DADDY I WANT IT NOW! :: arms crossed, tapping foot::

I was journaling this morning in lament. Basically I was whining to the Lord about things that weren’t going my way and asking if I should give up so I could go back to my normal self-centred life pleasing me,myself, and I. Should I go back to being reclusive, not letting others in or sharing anything about my life? Why share myself if I don’t get what I want? Then I stopped to read my devotional and corresponding scriptures. As always when I get in my brat mood, I was rebuked.

This year I am going through My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. In the middle of my rant, this is what Oswald said:

Sorrow removes a great deal of a person’s shallowness, but it does not always make that person better…The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow…You can always recognize who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, and you know that you can go to him in your moment of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you…But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, having no respect or time for you, only turning you away. If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people.

Was I receiving myself through this time? Had I done so in other moments of distress? What does it mean to “receive oneself”? In means persevering despite of one’s circumstances. To overcome through the experiences instead of being removed from them, but coming out changed for the better. I think that this is evident in many parts of my life, but not all. Those are the areas that seem to be playing a starring role in Groundhog Day. I keep having to learn the same lessons.

So today, God answered my prayer quickly. He already knew I would have these questions on this day, which is why this particular devotional was meant for this season of my life. I needed an attitude adjustment and I got one. The truth is, no my life isn’t exactly the way I want it, but it is 100% better than it was three years ago. Yes I question my involvement with things, but I get to be part of something bigger that I can’t understand with my human mind. I prayed for community, and I got it. The answers to these prayers look different than I thought, but they have been answered in a much more enriching and fulfilling manner than I could have created.

Lord, thanks for divine appointments if all things and not allowing life to be coincidental. Help me to embrace my purpose in the lives of those around me at this very moment. In their victories, give me joy. Let not disappointment turn into stagnation or bitterness. Three years ago I asked that you use me. You indeed answered my prayer though at the time I don’t know that I really knew the gravity of my request. Thank you for being a gentle teacher as I learn what it means to be a conduit of hope, love, grace, and forgiveness. As I touch the lives if others, mine is also being enriched by the same measure. In your hands I commit this life daily Lord. Let me live it intentionally second to you. Help me to glean the silver lining. I’m sorry for being selfish and not realizing the honor I have been given. Lord these moments humble my proud heart, and knock me to my knees. How dare I cry out for relief when in my weakness you are the strength…you are the miracle. Please help me to refocus my perspective and be of a single mind. Through my sorrow, Lord, show me joy. Elohim. Amen.

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