By: Alora Yee

I’m thankful for my sadness because it helps magnify joy. By joy, I mean Jesus.

My sadness does two things. First, it forces me to focus on myself. And in my focusing on myself, I am convicted by the Holy Spirit that lives in me of my own selfishness. Second, I am forced to remember Gods calling on my life, which is to serve Him through serving others and not solely serving myself. Let me explain.

When I’m serving myself in my own sadness, it can seem as though Jesus is so far away. I can see His light in the distance, but it’s as though I’m self-care-crawling my way to Him. This is just silly. We have an all-powerful and all-loving God who, when we call on Him, He is there!

Falling back into works to feel love, works to feel whole, works to feel right with God is not the gospel. It is through His grace and grace alone that we receive salvation, His love, and experience true joy. When I am convicted of falling back into selfish work for myself with the excuse that “I’m sad and trying to make myself feel better,” I fall to my knees and talk to my Father, who is in heaven. Because all “self-help” does, is digging the “pour me pit” even deeper. A Christian who is focused on self doesn’t sound like a Christian who is dependent upon God.

This may sound a bit insensitive, and I don’t mean to say, “stuff it all away,” “never share how you feel,” or even, “give it to God and just let go, duh.” No! We must give our worries, angst, and insecurities to our Heavenly Father in prayer. Those feelings are often validated by our circumstances. However, we are not meant to stay there. And we are not meant to be alone, so we need to reach out to our spouses, sisters, or whoever we trust in prayer.

Again, we are not meant to do this alone. If it’s a burden, we feel upon ourselves and not just a tiny load (let us remember our scriptural  boundaries:

Galatians 6:2&5 “Bear one another burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ…For each will have to bear his own load.” We should be asking for help to carry it. And you know what, others have burdens too, and to serve and pray over and help another is one of the greatest rewards! In fact, we get so much more fulfillment out of serving others than we do from just receiving.

When I pray for others, and when I find ways to serve others, even in the smallest ways, I am so filled. My focus is not on my sadness anymore, but it’s on the whole picture of God’s Church, His love, and His truth. I’m no longer a loner out in the waters. I look around and see unity in service. I see love in action! I see my brothers and sisters in Christ doing life together, loving one another, and I feel at home. I’m a part of God’s kingdom, and that sadness I once felt is now replaced and enveloped with love and purpose.

Within the church, we all have been given a calling. To serve one another. We all have gifts and talents, yes! We all have purpose and value. Each of us is made in the image of God, which is a blessing! And when we serve one another, helping to carry each other’s burdens and pray over one another, we emulate the love Christ showed us. We become who we are called to be more like Christ. There is nothing; there is no one that can fulfill and sustain us like Jesus.

When I’m feeling sad and empty and lonely. I am reminded to not pour from this empty vessel but to pour out from the One who lives in me. To serve from Christ and through Christ. Only then can I experience true joy and be filled with what can only sustain me. Him! And this is why I am thankful for my sadness. I’m reminded again and again that apart from Christ, yes, I am nothing, but with Him, all things are possible. Especially Joy.

By Alora Yee