Have you had something bad happen to you that caused you to feel sorrow? Of course you have. If you have lived on this planet more than five minutes something unpleasant has happened in your life. (Yes, five minutes, perhaps you don’t remember, but you had some pretty rough things happen to you during those first five minutes. You left that safe warm place where everything was done for you and you could swim at leisure into a rude world where you feel hunger and cold and wet.)
Have you ever blamed God for the bad things that happened in your life? I know I have What I have discovered though is that stuff that happens to us is never God’s fault and very seldom in his perfect will. It says in I Peter 5:8 that our enemy is like a lion looking to devour us. Sometimes, though, we cannot even blame the enemy. Sometimes it is simply my own desires that causes bad things to happen. Other times its not the enemy or ourselves that directly causes bad things to happen. Sometimes bad things happen because of the fallen nature of all of mankind. (Remember that rude awakening into the world, that’s part of this fallen nature.)
My Deepest Sorrow
What has been your deepest sorrow in your life? My deepest sorrow was not when my house burned down with all of my possessions, nor was it when three of my family members died within six months (All of them claim a relationship with Jesus Christ, so I expect to see them when my life also ends here on earth.) No, the deepest sorrow I have ever felt was when my husband decided that he not only no longer wanted to work on our marriage, but that he no longer felt that he could accept that there really is a God and that God cares for him. That knowledge that he has chosen to be an agnostic continues to grieve me more than anything else I have ever had to face in my life. I do however have hope in this situation because this is not the first time that I have been through this same situation.
When my relationship with my first husband ended, I was devastated then too. I remember praying and asking God why it happened. I asked what I had done so wrong that my marriage was ending. As I lay there on my bed, a voice inside of me, which I took to be God, told me that it wasn’t just me that he was leaving, but he was also deserting God as well.
I knew that what the voice was telling me was true. I knew that my husband at the time was running from God not just from me. God told me to simply keep praying for him.
So I did. Even though I had not seen or heard from him in years, I kept praying for him . I prayed for him until one day I was praying in church when a picture came into my mind. The picture was of me entering into Heaven. I pictured a bunch of people standing on the crystal sea, praising God. Then I saw the crowd of people part and there was my ex-husband with open arms. He told me that he was so glad I was there and that he had been waiting for me.
I felt warm all over and excited because it was as though God was telling me that it was okay for me to stop praying for him, because he was now in Heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ and that he was there waiting for me.
He Wants To Be Our Friend
As I look at both of these instances, I realize that what I am doing when I am praying for these lost loved ones is that I am not only grieving myself, but that I am sharing God’s sorrow. In Isaiah 53: 3 says that what brings God sorrow is that we do not esteem him. IN other words, we do not give him per-eminence in our lives. Several times in the New Testament in Paul’s letters, Paul also shares in this type of sorrow.
Jesus Christ died for us so that we could have a relationship with him. He desires to call us his friends. As I think about this, I am reminded of the difference between an acquaintance and a friend. An acquaintance is often someone that we want to impress. An acquaintance is one of those people that we want to show only what is good about us.
With true friends, however, we can share not only our good times, but also the bad times. In being our friend, Jesus Christ also wants to share what grieves him. It is part of the relationship and to have his sorrow for those around me is not a burden, but a privilege that I am able and willing to share.
Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.