Sunday, October 11, 2015

31 Days of Grief: Day 11

A few lines of a hymn during morning worship today made quite an impression on me:

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.

That line does not sit well with me.  I am here to tell you, dear friends, that peace and tears are not mutually exclusive.  

I hate that this, along with many other hymn lines and Christian cliches, imply that if you are bowed to God's will and have peace ruling in your heart, there will be no tears.  


Jesus was perfectly bowed to God's will, obedient unto the cross, and still He was in deep anguish and sorrow over what He had to do:

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.  Luke 22:44

He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death  Mark 14:33-34

If Jesus was this anguished and sorrowful, how can we expect ourselves to not be anguished and sorrowful during our deepest struggles?  And, if you're anything like me, tears go hand in hand with that anguish and sorrow.

I don't really know where the idea came from that peace and tears are mutually exclusive.  I remember struggling with this thought after Evie's diagnosis - I was crying soooo much.  Was I wrong?  Was I sinning?  Did I have super weak faith?  

I know now that you can cry over your deepest hurts and still heave peace with what the Lord is doing in your life and still have hope for what He's done for your future.  Some of my most sincere times of worship have been me, alone, face down on the floor, tears streaming down my face, sobs shaking my body and saying, Lord, this hurts so badly.  Please take this from me.  But, even if not, I still trust that You have a plan in this.  I still believe You are good.  I still place my hope in Your work on the cross.  Thank you for this peace that surpasses all understanding.

Peace doesn't have to look like blue skies and little lambs and songbirds on your shoulder. Peace can exist simultaneously with pain.  Peace and tears are not mutually exclusive. Don't let anyone make you think or feel otherwise.  


  1. Thank you for these words. This level of heartbreak unlocks so many emotional doors. Joy mingled with sorrow... what a confusing, terrible, wonderful thing.

    1. Yes. As Angie Smith puts it, the "sacred dance of grief and joy" <3