Most of us can relate to having a sad day. For various reasons, the day did not give us much to smile about. Situations presented themselves to us which drained our daily happiness supply so that by the end of the day, we were glad that the day was over. But it was only a temporary depletion. Maybe a good glass of wine and our favorite television show helped ease the sadness and reminded us that it really wasn’t that bad. Tomorrow will be a better day.
However, there are other days when deep sadness settles in for extended stays. We might call it depression or despair. The roots of this sadness run deeper into our hearts and souls are not so easily removed. They have a way of stealing our joy and life and leaving us feeling as though we are engulfed in an inner darkness. In the book of Job, Job describes his state this way, “My face is red with weeping, and deep darkness is on my eyelids.” At that moment, the light of life had fled, and he felt overwhelmed by the sadness which now blanketed everything around him.
If you have experienced a time like Job, you know how frightening these times can be. The darkness seems endless, and the sadness is thick and heavy and trying to wade through it seems impossible. We may in fact feel like giving up, giving into the sadness, and surrendering to the darkness. Hope seems absent and we feel lost.
However, our God, the God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ maneuvers freely in the darkness. As the Psalmist would confess: “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night’, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139: 11-12) God is with us is the darkness is as our light. When our own light is barely flickering, God’s light can be trusted to show us the way. God’s light can penetrate the deepest darkness and sadness of our lives and shed hope in our lives darkest times. Jesus would say, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) We can walk in the light of our Lord even when the darkness surrounds us. We can walk in hope even is sadness for God is our ultimate hope in all of life’s experience. Sadness can go deep, but God’s love can always go deeper.