It seems there is so much sadness in the world lately. From the Boston Marathon bombings to the tornadoes that ripped through Shawnee and Moore, Oklahoma, it seems tragedy and loss are everywhere. It seems like on Facebook people are having to say goodbye to loved ones, where they be furry or people.
It can be overwhelming if you let it. The magnitude of pain around the world right now is massive. So many people are hurting, so many are suffering, so many seem like they have nothing to look forward to but more hurt and suffering.
But as callous and unfeeling as this may sound, you can still have joy. Joy is not a denial of what happened in Boston or Oklahoma. Joy doesn’t turn a blind eye toward those who have suffered and lost. Joy sees past the pain to the God who waits on the other side. The beautiful part is that God is on both sides of the pain and walking with you through it.
I love an illustration a pastor gave. Jesus isn’t limited by time and space, so he’s in your present with you. He’s also in your future, so that the promises he gave you are already as good as done. He’s in your past in that moment when you were wounded, ready to heal you so that your past wounds no longer bleed into your present. He’s in all three places at once.
I am convinced that sadness and joy can coexist. It’s only right to grieve what’s lost. But we don’t grieve as those who have no hope. We grieve with hope that one day God will set everything right and will restore a thousand-fold what we’ve lost or given up. We grieve as those who know that our troubles are only a blip on the radar screen compared to the glory that awaits and that what we suffer pales in comparison with the ultimate joy that awaits us.
So my heart aches for all those in pain tonight, but my heart rejoices that while there may be pain in the night, joy comes in the morning.