The photo above will give you a really good hint.
After a week at the beach, even with three days of rain, you would think I’d return feeling like Super Woman.
You would be wrong.
I am the weary warrior.
I’ve struggled on what to tell you today, how to encourage you and lift you up; meanwhile tears run down my own face.
Though we are sorrowful, we continually rejoice. As the poorest of the poor, we bring richness to all, and though we have nothing, we possess all things. II Corinthians 6:10
Can we move from sorrow into joy without carrying it still?
Are we either happy or sad?
Can we embody both in the same heart at the same time?
I only know the true value of joy because I know the deep darkness of sorrow.
We are sifted. We are broken and we suffer, but He is Sovereign.
The only way we can mend our tears and our smiles is to knit them together with the chords that cannot be broken through the saving grace of Jesus.
John Piper writes it this way:
The reason the inner-workings of the Christian soul are not possible without the sovereignty of God is that the strength of hope and peace and joy and contentment and gladness and satisfaction and delight in God that sustain the soul in sorrows of life-long disappointment are rooted in the confidence that God has the authority, the freedom, the wisdom, and the power to accomplish all the good he has promised to do for his embattled children.
Although we know Christ, although we know He is Sovereign and although we know His promises of plans for our hope and future are true, our sorrow is real.
You can’t simply brush it away, but it is painted into your masterpiece.
The light is brightest in it’s beauty when side by side to the dark places.
Our joys we hold, even in sorrow, keep the sorrow from dragging us down in the pit of despair and disappointment. Joy doesn’t lift our sorrows, but keeps sorrow from being so destructive.
You cannot know joy if you never know pain.
While I’m not much of an ocean kind of girl, Corbin loved to jump in the waves with me.
Over and over again, we would allow the rise of the waves to carry us only to set us back down again.
At times, the waves would overtake us and as we came up spitting out sea water, I would hear Corbin’s laughter louder than the waves breaking on the sand. He giggled and laughed, especially at my expense.
We had fun. We had moments of joy.
It doesn’t mean that I wasn’t pained that Danny wasn’t able to do it with us. I carry that in my heart, even though I carry a smile on my face.
There are times though, that no matter the moments of joy, the relentless waves of life keep knocking you over.
In the last three days, disappointment has hit me from unexpected angles.
It’s like life tries to take us out one wave at a time, but there are times when the seas are rough and the waves come higher and hit harder. And, we think we aren’t going to come back up at all.
And, sometimes, we don’t want to come back up. We want to give in and let the currents take us out to sea, to take us home to Him.
What do we do when the waves of life rise and hit hard?
When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm;
you will not be engulfed in raging rivers.
If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs,
keep going; you won’t be burned. Isaiah 43:2a (The Voice)
Warriors, God is with us.
Even in the storm.
Even in the fire.
Even in the joy and even in the pain.
Though it may feel that sorrow is weighing you down, reach out and grasp your joy.
And, hold on tight.
The seas might get rough.