When you lose someone close to you there is drawing from the core of your chest, yanking you downward. This pull, like a relentless tug, pulls on your soul. It causes you to hold your breath, to have to sit down, to fall on your knees. This pull hurts like an internal wound. This pull brings sobs of tears at the strangest of times.
This pull is called SORROW. Sorrow has honest and raw impact. The pull of sorrow impacts daily life.
Oh the heaviness a heart can bear. Oh the impact of sorrow. Oh the lightness of the load Christ brings as upon his shoulder my yoke replaced.
I thank God today that sorrow is not mine to carry, not to carry all alone. But he takes upon his shoulder the yoke of my heavy heart. Why does He do this? Because He knows all too well the feeling of sorrow. The depth of grief, the sense of depravity and brokenness.
Jesus is known as a man of sorrow. In fact, Isaiah 53:3 (TLB) prophecies “We despised him and rejected him—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care.”
He was a man acquainted with sorrow, suffering, grief, being ignored, rejected, despised. This verse makes me wonder, how many times I am the one who caused his sorrow, who caused the pain in his heart when I rejected him.
Yet, this verse brings me comfort because it helps me to understand that He has felt – even at a much deeper level – sorrow. And in the days leading up to his crucifixion He displayed the impact of sorrow on his own life. He shares in my pain, in my heartbreak, in my aching. No matter what sorrow I walk through or how the tug pulls me down, Jesus understands.
Jesus is there to meet me when my knees hit the ground lifting the weight of my sorrow.
Through Jesus’ example as he went to pray before he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, how sorrow can impact our lives. He shows us that ultimately sorrow leads us to a deeper trust and reliance on God.
Mark 14: 32-36 is one account of Jesus praying before his arrest. In this account we see the progress of sorrow Jesus walked through.
“And now they came to an olive grove called the Garden of Gethsemane, and he instructed his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I go and pray.’ He took Peter, James, and John with him and began to be filled with horror and deepest distress. And he said to them, ‘My soul is crushed by sorrow to the point of death; stay here and watch with me.’
He went on a little farther and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the awful hour awaiting him might never come. “Father, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take away this cup from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” (TLB)
I believe Mark’s gospel account highlights 5 impacts of sorrow:
- Sorrow impacts the community: Jesus brought with him those closest to him. He invited them into sharing the load of his sorrow. He talked to them about the sorrow he felt. (v. 32-34) The caveat here is that those closest to us do not always have the ability to understand the heaviness of sorrow.
- Sorrow impacts the physical body: Sorrow not only has emotional implications, it also has physical implications. The heaviness Christ carried was so burdensome it caused his knees to give way and he fell to the ground. His sorrow was not just emotionally taxing, but physically. The weight of his death on the cross was so heavy he could hardly stand. (v. 35a)
- Sorrow leads to prayer: When our Savior’s knees met the ground He cried out to our God and Father. He could not bear the weight he was carrying alone. He needed His Abba, just like we do when we cry out in prayer. (v. 35b)
- Sorrow’s desperation leads to Trust: Jesus prayed, knowing that everything was possible for God. God could rescue him from the pain that lay ahead for him in the coming days. God could save him, God could stop it all. But he trusted to know that God knew best. Jesus prayed, “Father, take this cup from me.” (v. 36a)
- Sorrow gives us the courage to accept the cup: Feeling the full weight of sorrow, the desperation of body, mind and spirit leads Jesus, and us to recognize the need to be close to the Father in prayer. But ultimately, through prayer we find the courage to accept the cup, just like Jesus. We find the courage to say, not my will, but Your Will Lord! (vs. 36b)
In the moments of deep sadness, sorrow and pain, may we remember that we are not alone in our suffering. Jesus is a man well acquainted with sorrow. May we follow his lead and his example. May we find the courage on our knees to say, “not my will but your will be done, Lord.”
Whatever you are walking through today, whatever sorrow you may be facing, know that God, your Abba is here waiting for you, ready to catch you the moment your knees give way. When you cry out to him, he will hear you. Trust that no matter what, his will is always best, even when we can’t wrap our minds around it, even when it hurts, even when it doesn’t make sense.
Music is precious in my walk with Christ, it draws me to deeper places as the words express my heart. I wanted to share this song with you today – Even When it Hurts, by Hillsong UNITED. This song expresses the sorrow of my soul, yet the praise in my heart despite the pain. Listen and enjoy. Share this “blogovotional” with your tribe!