I first felt the cutting knife of sorrow in my teens; Jesus came for Grandma. I sat in a morbid funeral home with the overwhelming smell of cut flowers, as recorded sounds of hymns on an organ droned on. People mingled, talked softly and offered heartfelt condolences. Sitting forlorn, I found strength through the tightly held hand of my best friend’s boyfriend.
Patrick was her intended but at that moment, he was my rock. Sorrow can smother us or it can be a doorway to intimacy with the solid Rock. Godly sorrow takes us by the hand and walks us down the pathway to repentance. There is a complete turn in the road but we need not fear. He has a firm grip on our hand.
We sometimes need to “get a grip.” Ezra shared the book of the law with the people of God (Nehemiah 8:4-9) and the word rendered their hearts. “For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law (Nehemiah 8:9b KJV).” He encouraged them in the Lord with the reminder of the joy of the Lord. (Nehemiah 8:10b) Yet, Levite leaders were compelled to express more affirmation.
“So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved (Nehemiah 8:11 KJV).” Grief over faithlessness opened the passageway to outward fellowship with food and drink and a revelation of God’s word. (Verse 12) I do not enjoy the rending of my heart yet it brings time of refreshing and renewal…