Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sorrow’s Benefits - Martin Wiles

Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. Ecclesiastes 7:3 NLT

Sorrow can be a master teacher

Guilt had consumed her. Reluctantly, she confessed her unfaithfulness to her husband. Now he’s dealing with sorrow and the accompanying anger. A parent lay dying on the hospital table. The doctors have done all they can. The family decides to remove life support, but knowing their loved one has slipped into a better eternity didn’t completely wipe away their present grief. The trooper stood at the door and said, “I’m sorry to inform you that your daughter was killed…” An employer is forced to do what he dearly despises—make cutbacks. Unfortunately, your position is one that’s affected. 

The wisest man who ever lived said sorrow is better than laughter because it refines. Funny, I’ve never thought about it in that light. For me, it’s something to avoid. I’d rather smile than frown, laugh than cry, and praise than complain. Refine? How’s that possible? 

Times of sorrow help keep things in perspective. There’s nothing like a tragedy, sickness, or disappointment to remind me what’s most important. Along with sorrow usually comes grief. Accompanying grief are normally tears. While not enjoyable, grieving brings with it a cleansing process. When dealt with properly and in a timely manner, the soul is cleansed and strengthened.

Life is a mixture of sorrow and happiness. Ultimately, sin is the culprit behind sorrowful experiences. In heaven, things and people who cause grief won’t be present. Now, however, I must deal with it. Experiencing times of sorrow keeps me dependent on God to guide me through these aching times. 

Situations that bring sadness also remind me I’m not invincible. I can even learn from the painful experiences and use the lessons in the future to serve others in God’s name. Most likely, I’ll encounter someone who is experiencing something similar to what I have. 

Are you using what you learn from sorrowful experiences to help others?

Prayer: God of love and power, help us not to waste our sorrowful experiences. Rather, show us how to use them to serve others. 

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