Guest Blogger: Anne Jackson
Today’s “Guest” is the incomparable Anne Jackson. She is best known as the blogging powerhouse at flowerdust.net as well as the author of Mad Church Disease (February 2009). And that’s all fine and good, but I know her as the greatest and most influential friendship of my life. I love her. Enjoy what she has to say today.
Praying for Sorrow
I can never think of a time when i have prayed for sorrow. Invited true brokenness into my life. Usually, it comes as an unwelcomed guest. However, during my devotional time last week, I was thinking about the life of Joseph. I read this:
God never uses anybody to a large degree, until after He breaks that one all to pieces. Joseph had more sorrow than all the other sons of Jacob, and it led him out into a ministry of bread for all nations. For this reason, the Holy Spirit said of him, “Joseph is a fruitful bough…by a well, whose branches run over the wall” (Gen. 49:22). It takes sorrow to widen the soul.
My prayer that night was one I would never have expected to pray. I’ve prayed to be broken before, but never to the point of sorrow. Praying for sorrow?
When most people think of sorrow, they think of grief. Dispair. Negativity. Sadness. But the sorrow we should pray for is sorrow without despair.
If we had never fallen, or were in a glorified state, then the strong torrents of Divine joy would be the normal force to open up all our souls’ capacities; but in a fallen world, sorrow, with despair taken out of it, is the chosen power to reveal ourselves to ourselves. Hence it is sorrow that makes us think deeply, long, and soberly.
Ecclesiastes 7:3 says:
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for sadness has a refining influence on us.
But what about joy? I think the more refined we are through sorrow, the greater the joy we are able to experience.
What do you think?
that is an absurd intro, but very sweet nonetheless. :)
i full expect you to get my name tattooed on your butt or something when you are visiting next weekend :)
I’ll admit to fear because I’ve reached a time in my life where I’m praying for God to do something big through me and, to be honest, I don’t want the sorrow. Who ever does?
We have not much materially to lose, so when I think of sorrow, I think of personal loss. And that’s scary.
this fits my life right now. so far, 2008 has been one sorrow-inducing loss after another. but today i have hope. hope that God is preparing to use me in a very big way. on days when i’m struggling to trust His course for my life, i will remember this. I will remember that He is taking every fragment of my broken life and making it the soulful masterpiece He has always intended. thank you for this.
Now that i think about it, I have prayed many times to be broken or humbled and God gave me sorrow instead. It’s the sorrow that broke and humbled me – but i would have never thought to ask for it. You’re right Anne. wow. God gave me what I needed over what I requested. As always!
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