Many people have the impression that good Christians are happy, joyful, victorious people. In this fantasy, good Christians are people whose problems seem to vanish when they trust God and pray about it. Unaffected by the pain of life, these relentlessly cheerful people read the Bible, sing praise songs and feel no pain.
Yet Christians are at heart the followers of a man who was named 'man of sorrows.' Jesus was not relentlessly cheerful. He did not practice a mood altering, pain-numbing religion. He grieved. He wept. He was familiar with suffering. Our God is a God who knows suffering. God grieves.
In those times when we shame ourselves for our sorrow, it can be an enormous encouragement to remember that God is personally familiar with grief. If God grieves, we can expect to do the same.
God, you surprise me again!
When I grieve, I think that if I could just cheer up,
you would be pleased.
But, you grieve also.
Man of Sorrows you are acquainted with sorrow.
Thank you for understanding.
Thank you for grieving.
Help me to experience your presence in my time of grief.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery