Surviving Sorrow

We only need to observe and listen each day to hear or to encounter people or stories of “bad things, happening to good people”.   – A young family is wiped out when their three children are all killed in an auto accident; a young couple die when their car is struck by a drunken driver and three small children lose their parents; a 5 year old little girl is struck and killed by a bus while she is crossing a busy highway; a spouse, a child, a parent or a sibling die or just leave and we do not know where they are.  – Each of us has experienced or probably will experience a devastating loss that may leave us brokenhearted, shattered, and wondering why.

Jacob lost his beloved Rachel when she gave birth to Benjamin and was separated from his favorite son Joseph, not knowing if he were dead or alive, when Joseph was sold by his brothers.  Joseph had endured the jealousy of his brothers for years before being sold by them, he had lost his mother to death and he must have grieved when he was torn from his home and separated from his father. 

Oh, the sorrow that Ruth and Naomi must have felt when Naomi’s husband and sons die leaving them both widows. In her loyalty to Naomi, Ruth leaves her home to go to a strange and far off land leaving her own family forever. Have you ever wondered how Ruth’s family may have felt? 

There was grief and loss on the day Jesus died as Mary and his disciples watched. Can you imagine the agony of their hearts as they watched their beloved Jesus die in such a cruel manner? 

Although it sometimes seems that the heartache in today’s world is greater than it has ever been in the history of the world, I do not believe that to be true. We only need to read scripture to see that there is much sorrow in both the old and new testaments. By studying these historical accounts we will find how those who were faithful to God found strength, courage and eventual healing in their lives, and we will find strength for ourselves during our own trials. 

Whatever we may be asked to endure in our lives today, we can find comfort in the fact that God genuinely does understand our loss and we can rest in His comfort. In the midst of suffering and sorrow, God is still in control, just as He was when Adam and Eve lost their son Abel, when Jacob lost his beloved Rachel, when Joseph was sold into slavery, when Ruth sought to comfort Naomi even when she herself must have been hurting, and when Mary watched her precious son, Jesus, die. 

As we faithfully walk through our sorrowful times, we can draw strength from God’s Word, and from the comforting words and actions of others who have experienced suffering and who have found God’s comfort in their own sorrowful times. We can rest in the hope of Heaven and in knowing that God takes shattered pieces and rebuilds lives just as He did for our faithful friends and for those we read about in His Word. 


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4


Father, there are many in our world who are hurting today. Some of us have voids from the loss of loved ones that can only be filled by you. Oh Lord, I pray for your peace, your restored joy for those who remain faithful followers of your guiding principles even when we do not understand the whys of life. Lord, I also pray for those who are hurting, grieving today who have not yet found the blessing of your grace. May they find you in the midst of their difficult time; may they come to know the comfort of your unending, unconditional love, and the promise of reunion with our loved ones when we, too, reach our heavenly eternal home.

In Jesus’ Holy Name, I pray.


Written by Marilyn Hoeth, February 4, 2007

Posted to on 6/10/2012


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