Swallowed By Sorrow

Saturday, April 13, 2019
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Matthew 26:38 – He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." (NLT)

Sorrow can be a bitter pill to swallow, and I felt as if I were being swallowed by it.

Days stretched into months. An act of betrayal by another had turned my family inside out and headed it straight for dissolution. Though the situation could have been fixed, it wasn't, and the shadow of depression soon hung over my head like a thunderous cloud.

Unemployment followed on the heels of everything else that had disintegrated. Months passed as I sent out hundreds of applications to various places, looking for anything that would help me to support my family. Finally, a job opened, but the depression hung around. My outward appearance and actions seemed normal, but my insides churned.

Various trips to the emergency room for chest pains alerted my family doctor that something was wrong. "You're depressed. Take the medication I'm giving you, and stay out of the emergency room," he said. I followed his advice, and slowly, the depression receded.

One translation of today's verse has Jesus saying, "My soul is swallowed up in sorrow." I suppose that He felt that way. He was overwhelmed by what was ahead, but His disciples couldn't keep their eyes open to comfort Him. He felt alone — and that He was fighting the battle by Himself. And He was. They could not go to the cross and die for humanity's sins. Only a perfect person could. He wasn't sorry that He was doing it, but the weight of what was ahead had the power to swallow His soul in sorrow.

Situations that cause grief and intense sorrow aren't easy to face, but they are faced in a healthier way when others support us. Trying to face sorrow alone often leads to depression, whereas having a support system tends to ward off the dark clouds of depression. If Jesus needed companionship in His time of sorrow, I do, too.

Of course, my greatest support system is found in my relationship with Jesus. I can't physically experience Him with my senses, but His presence is felt through my spirit. This spirit-to-Spirit relationship surpasses anything that I might feel with my senses.

Don't try to face times of sorrow alone. Depend on God and godly people to help you through your trying times.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your presence and the presence of others when we face sorrowful times that want to swallow us up. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very true Martin. Been there, done that.

    Such good advice, thanks for sharing and God bless, Martin!

    Thank you, Martin, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.

    Glad this intense sadness has been lifted from you, Martin. May it never return.

    Thanks, Martin, for sharing this troubling time in your life and what God taught you.

    Thank you, Martin, for sharing such a touching and helpful devotional with us today.

    Thank you, Martin, for your words of comfort. I was particularly touched by your description of the spirit-to-Spirit relationship.

    Well said, Martin, and coming from deep within your heart and experience. Your words and counsel are a blessing to all.
    God bless you!

    Martin, I will pray for you. I don’t need to know your troubles to do this. God does, and that’s all that really matters.
    Bless you,
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Martin, I recognize what you are experiencing. Thank you for having the courage to share your story and for sharing the hope in Christ Jesus. May God bless you as he continues to stay by your side during these difficult times.

    Dear Martin Wiles,
    Thank you for a very fine devotional. Many of us have to face injustices. Jesus, the Son of God, suffered supremely and overcame.
    With Jesus’ sympathy and support we can overcome.
    Keep writing,

    From a Church’s Billboard:
    Life is filled with toil and trouble,
    Two things only stand like stone:
    Kindest in another’s trouble,
    Courage in your own.
    SHALOM Live in the peace and joy of Christ.

    Hello Martin,
    So sad to read of the disturbing situation you had to deal with. The Lord’s care and love is mighty and may His grace and mercy prevail to bring peace and healing to restore joy in your life.
    Blessings upon you,

    Hi Martin,
    Very good words indeed. Very happy to read your devotional this morning.
    I think we can all relate to that feeling of “Depression” to a larger or smaller degree at one time or another. Thank you for reminding us that we can bring all our concerns to Jesus in prayer.

    Never had this before, but my husband and family have brought me through without falling into the depths. Can understand this condition so much better now.
    Thanks for sharing/ baring this intimate story of your faith.
    Bless you and your ministry,
    (BC Canada)

    I was surprised to see your name when I came to the end of today’s devotion, Martin. We never know what someone else is going through. Depression is a terrible thing. I have my times as well and winter and the long days take their toll on me. Thank God for His presence with us and for our friends in Christ. Thanks for sharing your story today. May God continue to bless you to be a blessing to others through your writing.

    Oh Martin… Thank you for your devotional! My husband passed on recently. The Celebration of his life…. I can’t get to sleep!
    I finally decided to take time to read the devotional and found it quite helpful. I ‘get’ the warning too. Thanks for the ‘heads up/awareness’ and the reminder of having a support system as well.
    I can’t imagine going through this experience without faith in our Lord and Saviour!

    Hey Martin Wiles. If I didn’t have the hope of Jesus I’d never get out of bed. My husband passed unexpectedly a few months ago. I have never felt such deep sorrow. Deep sobbing and my soul pains as if in a room with no exit.
    Complications that mean I’ve no income. Life sucks. Every plan we made is gone. All I wanted was to live life with him. I see others with heart issues that are fixed by surgery and wished he could have been so also. He was such a great guy. Life is empty without him. Thanks.

    Such good, and timely, advice, Martin.
    Thank you for sharing. It helped me see my own situation in a new light.
    My youngest son died suddenly, and unexpectedly, just a few weeks ago. Those weeks have been sheer torture and I threw my Bible aside in disgust. I was angry with God. I had friends and prayer folk praying around the world when a sore throat led to complications.
    More and more, of recent days, as depression has started to take hold, I realized I must make a change or be swallowed up in the darkness, so slowly, I am turning back to the one true source of comfort.
    Your message resonated and made me realize that I must allow God back. Thank you.
    (Ontario, Canada)

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