Finding Your Way Back to Joy

“We live in a broken world, but because God is with us we can have joy, even when things are hard.”

I am comforted knowing that Jesus also visited the Valley of Weeping: “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God” (Hebrews 5:7).

Jesus cried out loudly to God, offering sweet tears of surrender. His brokenness was never more evident than when He humbled Himself and sweetly surrendered to the Father’s plan, even though it meant suffering and death. Recognizing that Jesus went before me infused me with hope. He paved the way so that I could have courage in the midst of my pain.

Tears are the language of the soul, and God can use them to bring us to a point of surrender. When we finally give up control and allow tears of sorrow to fall, healing can be the result. In fact, one of the Hebrew words for grieving actually means “to shape.” This verb beautifully describes God’s redemptive work in the midst of our tears. As a potter uses water to soften clay, the Holy One uses our tears to soften our hard hearts until they beat in time with His. Therefore, our tears, both happy and sad, are the precious offering of a surrendered heart when poured out at the feet of our Beloved (Luke 7:38).

The Valley of Weeping became a holy place for me. No human words can describe what took place during my time there. I learned that it is sweet to be broken, battered, and incapable of doing anything without the Holy One. For the first time in my life, I began to see that it was okay to surrender my will to my Beloved and become desperately weak and needy. God created all of us with relational needs and is pleased when we admit that we are totally inadequate without Him. It is only when we are weak and needy that His glory can break forth with divine power and might in our lives.

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The Valley of Weeping is a bittersweet place where we realize that we are helpless but not hopeless. Our God is with us in our pain and can give divine comfort every step of the journey … if we allow Him to. He is lifting our downcast faces to behold His glory and bringing redemption from our stories.

I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:

The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
(Lamentations 3:20-24)

Taken from Return to Joy copyright © 2016 by Bev DeSalvo. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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