How To Handle Sorrow

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{Guest Devotional by Kate Motaung}

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

Photo: CaptPiper via photopin cc | Design: Wendy van Eyck
In the weeks that led up to my mom's death, I would often stand in the shower in the mornings and think about how each update and report of her declining condition was like a leaking saltwater tap, dripping steadily into an open wound.

With each day, there was something new that had gone wrong, something else she was struggling with and having to endure. 

The news stung; it burned. 

I groped around, looking for a way to stop the incessant dripping, but I couldn't find the source of the leak.

Then one day it stopped.

The news stopped coming. 

In place of stinging drops, I looked down and saw the pool of water that had accumulated at my feet. The drain opened, and it all gushed out, rapidly, furiously. 

Hot, fast tears were interspersed with quick, frantic gasps, syncopated stacatto breaths swirling to the rhythm of the water spiraling down the drain.

Eventually the bulk of the volume had been released, and only a thin layer of standing water remained. 

It still remains – silent, almost invisible, but as obviously present as when one steps in wetness by mistake while wearing socks. 

I hate that feeling. 

The drain is still open, but the remnant of standing water drips out dreadfully slowly, first requiring enough moral support to conjure up a full-fledged tear to conquer the brink of the eye lid's cliff.

Once it breaches the precipice, its journey over the curvature of the cheek and eventually to the bottom of the chin shows no respect for time. It lingers – dawdles, even – somewhat mockingly, as if daring me to wipe it away. 

But I don't. I let it run its course, a rivulet in a process of unchartered territory that was not designed by me.

Then I think about the promise in Revelation 21:4, that one day, there will come a time when “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

I smell the saltiness of my tear-stained cheek, and I look forward in great anticipation to the day when He will indeed wipe every tear from our eyes. 

How magnificent and glorious will it be when there will truly be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.  The very thought seems nearly impossible to imagine.

But it is possible.  

It is oh, so possible – only by the power of God Himself, the One who ‘daily bears our burdens’ (Psalm 68:19) and ‘heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds’ (Psalm 147:3).

Some days it is so easy to wallow in our own pool of long-standing sorrow that we forget to look up. We forget that one day, there will be no more.

One day, for those who believe, there will only be joy. (tweet this)
How do you turn your focus away from worldly sorrow to the hope of eternal joy?

Kate MotaungKate Motaung is the wife of a South African pastor and homeschooling mom of three.  She has contributed to Ungrind, Radiant Magazine, (in)Courage,, Thriving Family, MOPS and Young Disciple magazine.  You can read more from Kate at her blog, Heading Home, or on Twitter @k8motaung

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