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Women of the Advent | September 1, 2022

Life often feels like a series of losses. The sadness for what has been lost, whether it is a death of a loved one or disappointment in the choices my loved ones choose, can feel heavy. Clearly, neither my loved one nor the Lord God asked me what I thought, because I know best (insert laughing emoji). Others have made the case for how helpful it is to name the emotion; its name is grief and sorrow.

In Isaiah 53, we read about One who “was despised and rejected by men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…” Amazingly enough, this was written about 700 years before Jesus was born. Certainly, the case can be made that he understands the experience of grief and sorrow. Somehow he carries it in a way that I don’t understand. John Piper says, “You don’t have to understand the intricacies of how this works in order to be healed and forgiven any more than you have to understand how a computer works.”

This bearing of our grief and sorrow is expressed in the hymn, “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy.” The second stanza reads, “There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in heaven; there is no place where earth’s failings have such kindly judgment given.” Knowing that my grief and sorrow is understood is such a comfort to me, and with it comes kindness, not condemnation.

“Man of sorrows what a name for the Son of God who came ruined sinners to reclaim: Hallelujah, what a Savior!”

— Carrie Brown

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