Part IV: Sadness.

The shortest sentence in the bible is found in John 11:35.

“Jesus Wept.”

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Jesus became so moved and touched by the crowd of people who were gathered around Lazarus mourning his death that he wept.

I think there is so much packed in this little two word sentence.

What caused Jesus to weep here? Was it his own insecurities? Was it because someone betrayed him or hurt him?  – It was his compassion for us. For the people of God.

How powerful is that?

When is the last time you wept for your compassion for God’s people? When is the last time you saw someone who was so hurt that it moved YOU to tears?

I don’t know about you – but I’m crying about how the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy ended. Or about the way that someone hurt me. How would our definition of sadness change if we looked at it as an emotion we feel when we feel deep compassion for someone else? God feels compassion for all of us, shouldn’t we feel compassion for each other? I think most of the time, our tears come from a selfish place.

As the smallest sentence in the Bible, I too, think it should be the smallest sentence in our lives. My sadness usually turns into a sob fest on the couch with reruns of my favorite shows and a gallon of my favorite ice cream.

And sometimes it lingers.

But Jesus didn’t create sadness to be this way. He created it as a way to release our emotions, and then give it to God. He understands the why, even if we can’t. After Jesus wept at the sight of the crowd, he prayed to God that he would show himself to them. And he gave his sadness to God and moved on. I think the phrase “let go, and let God” applies here.

Aren’t you grateful that we serve a God that will take our sadness from us and dry our eyes?

Jesus came into this world so that we may have an abundant life, not a sad one – and that needs to be our focus. John 10:10 –  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Letting sadness grow  and fester within us can truly create a disability in our lives – one that can be crippling. I’ve seen too many people use their past sadness and heartache to define the rest of their lives. Break free.

So how do we do it? There are sad things in this life. There are things that make us cry. There are things we don’t understand.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Here’s the bottom line: We can’t understand everything – why people hurt us, why people die, why we have bad days and why we feel sadness. But heres what we can understand, God knows what he’s doing. Even with the sad stuff. Its all coming together to create the beautiful story that he writes for us.

And that, is a solid ground to put our roots in. Let your compassion be your guide in your sadness. And when that sadness falls over you, give it to God and do something about it.

 

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