by Pastor Peter Bean
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You will be sad, but your sadness will become joy (John 16:20).
Reality lets us know we all experience sadness, or sorrow, at some stage, in various ways and dimensions. What I consider sadness, someone else may not. What you consider sadness may be – and probably is – unique to you. And that’s okay. I want to honour everyone’s sadness, at whatever level, whoever it involves.
Sadness is common. Yet sadness is unique. Jesus knows that. He talks about a woman’s sadness, or pain, as she gives birth. I know little about that, but I do know about the joy that occurs once the baby is born. I don’t know about your sadness, but Jesus does.
Some people say it is helpful to sit with your sadness. Part of living in modern society urges us towards the quick fix, but sitting with your sadness is like honouring it. It’s acknowledging that it is there, and it is part of you, as uncomfortable as that may be. And in time, the sadness will change to courage, patience, hope or joy. Like with the woman who has given birth.
So, sadness is and will be part of our lives. We can’t avoid it. But Jesus knows our sadness. Among other things, he says he will be with us always (Matthew 28), and there’s nothing that we can’t handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). Jesus has been tempted (experienced sorrow) as we have (Hebrews 4:15). In Revelation 21, there is the promise of a new heaven and new earth, where there will be no more death, sadness, crying or pain. Then our sadness will truly turn into joy!
Thank you, Lord, that you are with us at all times. Please help us to bear our sadness as we look to the joy we have in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.