Eccl 3:4 “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to
mourn, and a time to dance;”
This past week was the five-month anniversary of my son Buddy’s
death. I probably don’t need to tell you it’s been a rough week. I
spent the first few days feeling overwhelmed. I was sad, weepy, and
just generally miserable. Losing my son has caused me the most
desperate, overwhelming grief I’ve ever known in my life.
Even in my grieving, I usually try to focus on what I still have
rather than on what I’ve lost. Trying to keep that focus is why I do
a gratitude post every night. But there have been times since Buddy
died when I felt like I was standing at the edge of a precipice over
a bottomless chasm and feared I might fall off into the abyss of
total despair. This past week was like that.
Although my circumstances haven’t changed, I’m feeling better today
and asking myself why I was feeling so overwhelmed earlier in the
week. The change in how I feel also brought to mind the question,
“Is God disappointed in me when I’m sad?” If I know the Lord,
shouldn’t I be cheerful and full of joy regardless of my
Before I answer that, I want to stress I'm not saying you and I are
justified in walking around lamenting our circumstances, wringing
our hands and constantly complaining. Nor am I suggesting it’s ok to
sing an endless rendition of “Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me,” no
matter how overwhelming our situation might be.
Having laid the foundation, I need to say some days just “suck swamp
water!” I mean some days are just tough and, no matter how much you
love the Lord, those days aren’t going to be five-star banner days.
You lose your job, the biopsy is positive, you bury your soul mate
or your child, your spouse walks away. Those things are heartrending
enough without adding in the false concept that God is disappointed
in you for being sad. And it is a false concept.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us “there is a season, and a time to
every purpose under the heaven..." Verse four of the same chapter
tells us there’s a time to cry and mourn as surely as there is a
time to laugh and to rejoice. Life’s seasons come and go according
to God’s plan, and our job is to accept where we are at any given
Buddy knew the Lord, so I know I’ll see him again. And because of
that promise, I’m told I don’t need “to sorrow like others who have
no hope” (1
Thessalonians 4:13). However, that verse doesn’t suggest I
shouldn’t sorrow at all. When terrible things happen (and they
will), of course we’re going to have sorrow.
I’m thankful I have a Savior who understands my tears and my broken
heart and who wants me to be myself, whether I’m happy or sad. In
Shade of His Hand, Oswald Chambers says, "When you are joyful,
be joyful; when you are sad, be sad. If God has given you a sweet
cup, don’t make it bitter; and if He has given you a bitter cup,
don’t try and make it sweet; take things as they come."
Challenge for Today:
What might happen if we, just for today,
accepted we are sometimes going to be sad and determined to “take
things as they come?”