When sorrow suffocates…

FROZEN Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

LAKE Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

BENCH Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

Sometimes sorrow wraps itself around my shoulders like a shroud, slowly suffocating my heart. And I find it hard to catch my breath.

While it’s true that Godly sorrow leads to repentance, and repentance leads to new life and a new life can bless many, sorrow for merely sorrow’s sake, ruminated upon and relived in memory, can simply siphon life from us, sour relationships and sap vital energy which could better serve kingdom purposes.

I am not saying that there is no place for sorrow. Certainly there is. Much of life is sad and truly devastating and we must grieve in order to heal and go on. But today I am commenting on that lingering sadness of which we sometimes refuse to let go.

When Godly sorrow slips into self pity or sinks into depression, we need help. And where does our help come from?

The Lord, of course. And also through others, for we with limbs and lips of flesh and blood are surely His hands and feet here on earth.

I have received much love and help from others as I walked through some very sad chapters of my life.

Hours were spent on the counselor’s couch, sharing my story, my sin, my sentiments.

Multiple self-help books were read, both Christian and secular, with something gleaned from each.

Participating in and leading a 12-step recovery group where the higher power is Thee Higher Power, Jesus Christ, granted greater freedom from my past.

All these helps served me well and were used by God in the ongoing process of healing my heart.

But I believe there comes a time in the life of every believer when we realize that the veil has been torn and no middle man is needed. I can carry my cares, my struggles, my sadness and my sorrow over things I lament having lost or done, directly to God.

Where it’s just me and Him.

Naked and unashamed.

For He knows it all. Has seen everywhere I’ve been and everything I’ve done, good and bad.

He has walked with me every murky step of my muddied way.

And the amazing grace truth is that He loves me anyway. He always will. And He will never stop. Nor will He ever leave me.

Nope, not ever. Thank you, Jesus!

So in the wee small hours when sleep is short and shadows are long He will hold me, and He’ll hold you, too.

And He will strengthen my heart as He renews my soul.

Taking my sin.

Helping with my struggles.

Lifting my sorrow.

Until I Am stilled.

With whispers of His ancient word, from the page deep into my heart.

And I will lie down in green pastures to rest and be refreshed.

Taking out my notebook, I will count some more. Count all the numberless gifts of grace which are His way of showing me His love, unfailing and pure. A demonstration of His steadfast presence in my life.

Then, with cares cast upon Him and a heart made glad from blessings bountiful, I’ll pick up my shield and my sword and go forward once more.

Always further still…

~sheila

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