This week, we have the privilege to reflect on our lives and be grateful for those around us and for what we have. We, as a nation, actually get to stop and give thanks to the Lord for what He has given us. Now, you might think, “What have I to be thankful for? It’s been one of the hardest and most lonely years I’ve ever felt.” And trust me, you and I are not alone in this feeling. Not only has our world been going through a health crises, but many people have lost their jobs, their loved ones, their connections to other people and their stability. Some are even having to go through grief, depression, and sickness all alone for the safety of others. All this chaos can feel like the world is caving in without any hope.
But hope is not lost. What we might actually be facing is deep sorrow–a loss and sadness for what could have been; a world without sin or death and freedom to live in a right relationship with our God and Creator. Unfortunately, our world is under the rule of sin and death will soon come for us all. But, again, hope is not lost. This grievous sorrow can be turned into a heart of joy and gratefulness when we look at what God gave to us in order to save us from eternal death and to one day have us live with Him. There, He has kept every tear we have ever shed in a bottle and will wipe away the ones that come when we see His face. This gift He gave was His own son, Jesus.
Most, if not all, can understand the weight of sorrow. But none can understand the sorrow that Jesus felt that day on the cross. He is indeed called the Man of Sorrows. He is called this because He not only suffered rejection and pain from men at the cross, He endured rejection and the full wrath of God for the entire world on that lonely hill. And to our amazement, we know something else about Jesus’ outlook of that horrible cross. Hebrews says, “who for the JOY that was set before Him, endured the cross.”
Just think…He had grateful sorrow because He knew His sacrifice would pay our ransom and we would be redeemed.
Some say we are close to the end of the world or experiencing the wrath of God. And yes, one day the world will end. But truthfully, is this type of panic and thinking actually reflecting the rest of the truth? The truth is, we will sometimes never know why God allows these times, but He is still the creator of this universe and knows what He is doing. He is the one who loved us though we turned our backs on Him. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for those sins and mend the relationship we broke so that when we actually do die, we can spend eternity with Him if we, in faith, accept Jesus as our Savior. He is worth every praise we can give and more.
So, even if you are experiencing deep sorrow this Thanksgiving, remember, that we can actually be grateful that our end doesn’t have to be separated from our Creator–if we trust in the saving power of Jesus, the Man of Sorrows deep and grateful.