Sorrow and Jesus

April 9, 2013 § 6 Comments

When I was a child, I discovered a book that spoke straight to my heart, and has continued to minister to my soul throughout my life. Hinds Feet on High Places is the story of Much Afraid- a pathetic, useless cripple whose life is dominated by her Craven Fear relatives and her own inhibitions- and her journey from the valley up to the mountain top, and the changes she experiences along the way.

Currently, what comes to mind are the traveling companions that The Great Shepard sends Much Afraid to assist her in her perilous journey up the mountain. Their names are Suffering and Sorrow. And you know what? Today, I realize that this is the part of the story that Hannah Hurnard got all wrong when writing Hinds Feet on High Places.

In the book, Suffering and Sorrow are quiet, harmless companions that really don’t do much besides follow Much Afraid around and sometimes lend her a hand in the rough places. But, if you have ever experienced suffering or sorrow, you, too, know that this is a false portrayal.

Sorrow is not quiet. She doesn’t meekly follow you around and quickly disappear. She doesn’t remain silent and unobtrusive.
She is loud. Loud like a roaring ocean in your ear drums that drowns out all other thought and reason.
Loud like sobs and dry heaves and screams that come from the deepest recesses inside of you.
She consumes your life, steals your joy and takes her liberties with you.
Sorrow is raw.
Sorrow is blinding.
Sorrow is bitter poison.
Sorrow tears your heart out and leaves you bleeding, but doesn’t allow you to die.
Sorrow is a thief that doesn’t have to sneak around or hide.
She is bold and unforgiving.
Sorrow is lonely.
Sorrow is cancer.

I’ll never understand Sorrow. No matter how many times I have experienced her throughout my life, every single time I face her, she is a new creature. Old tricks and new alike, she never fails to rock me to the very core of my being.

So here I am.
Sorrow has come, suddenly, swiftly, mercilessly. Once again, she has driven me to me knees.

And yet.
Though I may be knocked down, though I may appear defeated, what Sorrow has failed to recognize is that she has placed me right where I need to be. Face down, broken, unable
to stand, and in desperate need of a Comfort that cannot be found in this world.

You see, she has unintentionally delivered me straight into the arms of Jesus, the Great Comforter. She has stripped me of my foolish pride, and unknowingly enabled and strengthened me to crawl, in my brokenness and humility to the foot of the Cross, the very place where sorrow and all her schemes were defeated over 2000 years ago when Love conquered death so that Sorrow and Suffering would no longer wield the sting of death. She has forced me to seek refuge and strength in the love of my Savior.

And in that place, I find my hope, my joy, my peace, my victory.

§ 6 Responses to Sorrow and Jesus

  • Sorrow walked with me last night. And the funny thing is, that I too, found myself at the mercy of her overwhelmingly power, but suddenly I thought thank you God for allowing me to feel, to cry, to breathe on my own, to have control over my limbs, to be alive. And so this morning she is gone and all that’s left is a better me. Sometimes Sorrow may be ruthless, but without her who would I be. Who would we be?

    Thank you for your beautiful post and for helping me stay on track.

  • I have picked up a saying as I too struggle with Sorrow and her brother Grief. God has helped me in so many ways during this time; you are right, Sorrow only helps you become stronger as you overcome, but usually as time goes on. I do not know if Sorrow is meant to actually be quiet and assist as I remember in the story. For me, allowing myself to be vocal, sharing my tears filled with pain, it seems I have found a way to share a human side of Grief and Sorrow that is almost always forced to be hidden behind closed doors.

    Here is the saying: Grief, like the ocean comes in waves only to recede and come yet again. But with it comes healing. Memories wash ashore and are bathed by the golden sun. Grab hold of those memories and let them fill the emptiness.

    I do not know the author. It sits by my computer and today it has been a needed comfort.

  • annestauffer1018 says:

    The words you have penned have ministered so greatly to my heart! The gift you have in writing is a God-given one Abbey… I pray you continue to use them to share the hope of our mighty God! I couldn’t be a more proud momma. You make my heart smile 🙂

  • MPapp says:

    We all know sorrow, but I do not think anyone can really know her until she comes and visits. I knew of her, but until recently,never really was aware of the pain and pure heart ache she brings to oneself. It is the most overwheming feeling I have ever experienced. But, without that visit, I would have never been delivered into His arms. There I was rock bottom, hopeless, broken and without hope. Sorrow had come, broken into my heart and tore down my walls. But in that moment, lying in the rubble of my life crying out for help, I found Him. All this time, searching, looking for answers and all I had to do was surrender myself to him. He picked me up dusted me off and said, Now go and I will be with you. To this day it amazes me that in the midst of sorrows visit that I would have such peace. Your writing finally put words to a part of my life that has been hard for me to understand. I am thankful for sorrows visit because without her, as painful as it was, I don’t think I would have been saved. Abbey, Thank You with ALL my heart, God Bless!

  • chaz18 says:

    sorrow is beautiful hey…it makes joy seem so much more of a blessing. ❤ beautiful piece 🙂

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