The Healing Of Sorrow

sctousa

The Healing of

8 Ways to Find Comfort

in Spite of Sorrow


Dear friend,

The booklet you hold in your hands is

one in a series designed to help you with

practical “hands-on” information in your

personal search for a better life and to

help those you care most about.

No matter who you are or where in life

you are looking for answers—whether it

be marriage, health, parenting, the loss

of a loved one, overcoming an addiction,

or working through stress or financial

problems—there is help available and

there is hope.

We trust this booklet and others in the

Peacefinders series will be a blessing

to you and your family as you journey

through each passage of life.

The Publishers


Copyright © 2011

PROJECT: Steps to Christ, Inc.

302 Foster Road

Fort Covington, NY 12937

Printed in the USA

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,Inc. Used by permission.

All rights reserved.


y Victor Parachin

According to a Chinese proverb, a day of

sorrow is longer than a month of joy.

There is truth in that ancient wisdom.

When dark, difficult, dreary days come, the

weight seems unbearable, the length unending.

Such days of sorrow and sadness come to all. No

one goes through life without experiencing disappointments—a

job is lost, married children

experience marital problems, a child is injured,


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a good friend betrays confidence, someone we

counted on does not come through, a doctor diagnoses

a life threatening illness, etc. The litany

of human sorrows can be very long. Yet, there

are ways of responding to sorrow which lead to

recovery and the enjoyment of life once again.

Following are eight attitudes and

strategies for the healing of sorrow and

for finding comfort in spite of suffering.

1

Raise Your Spirits Through

Inspirational Writings

The Bible is filled with inspiration and wisdom.

The words of Scripture are often powerful

in soothing our fears, calming our minds, and

easing our anxieties, because they remind us of

God’s constant care and concern about us. Some

exceptional passages from the Bible include:

John 14:1, 27—“Let not your heart be troubled;

you believe in God, believe also in

Me.”… “Peace I leave with you, My peace I

give to you; not as the world gives do I give

to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither

let it be afraid.”


Isaiah 66:12-14—“For thus says the Lord:

‘Behold, I will extend peace to her like a

river, and the glory of the Gentiles like

a flowing stream. Then you shall feed;

on her sides shall you be carried, and be

dandled on her knees. As one whom his

mother comforts, so I will comfort you;

and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.’

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,

and your bones shall flourish like grass;

the hand of the Lord shall be known to

His servants.”

2 Corinthians 1:3, 4—“Blessed be the God and

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father

of mercies and God of all comfort, who

comforts us in all our tribulation, that we

may be able to comfort those who are in

any trouble, with the comfort with which

we ourselves are comforted by God.”

3

Another indispensable source of inspiration

can be found in a church hymnal. Read or sing

to yourself some of the profound words of hope

and faith found in a beloved song. Consider


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these words from John Henry Newman’s hymn,

“Lead, Kindly Light.”

“Lead, kindly Light,

amid the encircling gloom,

Lead thou me on;

The night is dark, and I am far from home;

Lead thou me on;

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene; one step enough for me.”

Or consider the simple truth of Joseph

Scriven’s hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

“What a Friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and grief to bear!

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God, in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer!”


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2

Turn to the “Divine Alchemist”

Author S.I. McMillen noted: “The divine

Alchemist can miraculously change a sorrowing

heart of lead into a golden mellowness

that sings praises through tears.” McMillen’s

observation is a biblical one. Consider these

encouraging words from Psalm 30:11: “You

have turned for me my mourning into dancing;You

have put off my sackcloth and clothed

me with gladness.”

We should also keep in mind the promise of

Christ: “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow

will be turned into joy” (John 16:20). The lesson

is clear: in times of discouragement and darkness,

we can turn to God in faith and trust that

the darkness will give way to the light.

3

Remind Yourself that a Higher

Purpose is at Work

As we turn to God, we should keep in

mind that there is often a higher purpose for our

sorrow and difficulty. A biblical example of that

higher purpose working can be seen in the life of

Joseph. The book of Genesis records the abuse

heaped upon Joseph by his brothers. He was

beaten, thrown into a well, left for dead, and then


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sold off as a slave. Through God’s providence,

Joseph became the second most powerful leader

in Egypt. Years later, when he was reunited with

his family, he reassured his frightened brothers

with these words: “You you meant evil against

me; but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

A contemporary example pointing to a higher

purpose working in life can be seen through

the life of American pioneer Daniel Boone. On

one occasion he and his brother, Squire, were

camped on a riverbank. They were trapped in a

heavy rain and huddling together under a horse

blanket. Squire was very upset and did not understand

how Daniel was able to bear the discomfort

without complaining. When the rain

ended, they left and soon discovered nearby a

camp recently abandoned by hostile Indians.

Daniel tells Squire: “What fretted you so much

was really the means of Providence for our salvation.

But for the storm, we should have run

into the very jaws of our enemies.”

4

Heal Yourself by Helping Others

Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, who was president

of the National American Woman

Suffrage Association from 1915 until her death


in 1947, offered this prescription for curing

sadness and sorrow: “Go to your room; put on

your hat; go out and do something for someone.

Repeat ten times.”

Behind Catt’s prescription is the wisdom

that giving is receiving. Or consider this comment

by Dr. Albert Schweitzer: “I don’t know

what your destiny will be, but one thing I do

know: the only ones among you who will be really

happy are those who have sought and found

how to serve.” Helping others brings solace to

our own spirits, because in reaching out to another

we take the focus off our own pain and

hurt. By helping someone in need our perspective

is broadened. The heavy, oppressive feelings

suffocating our spirits are lightened through the

joy gained through helping a needy person.

5

Surround Yourself with

Supportive People

The Bible reminds us to let friends be our

medicine—“Two are better than one, because

they have a good reward for their labor. For if

they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe

to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no

one to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10). Look

7


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for people whose presence make you feel stronger,

optimistic and more confident. Surround

yourself with individuals who will let you speak

freely, honestly, openly without judging or criticizing

you. Their listening will be a source of

comfort, perspective and healing for you. “The

feeling of being loved and cared for by friends

and family goes a long way in protecting you

from the negative effects of stress,” says Nelson

Hendler, MD., a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins in

Baltimore. When you’re sad, reach out to people

who can lift your spirits. Of course, be sure to do

the same for them when they are in need.

6

Make an Attitude Adjustment

Unfortunately, when a difficulty comes

our way it can cast a wide shadow over our

lives making everything appear negative and

gloomy. Because of that reality, strive to make

an attitude adjustment. We need to see not only

what has been lost but what remains. When

difficulty comes, we need to train ourselves to

make the most of what’s left. An inspiring example

is that of Travis Roy. He was a Boston

University hockey player who was paralyzed

11 seconds into the first shift of his first game.


Although he remains paralyzed from his shoulders

down and depends on a $20,000 wheelchair

to get around, he has returned to school with a

winning attitude. He smiles a lot and jokes with

students that his new voice-activated computer

lets him type reports and papers faster than he

could before his injury. In spite of the fact Roy

will never walk again, let alone play hockey, he

wastes no time on self-pity and works at making

the best of his situation.

Consider also this example from a little girl

who was able to see her cup as half-full rather

than half-empty. A student teacher recalls her

February 14th day with a class of first graders

in a Chicago school. The children were nervous

as the supervising teacher called on them to

pass out their valentines. Those who received

the most tried not to show their excitement at

their popularity, while those who had only a few

envelopes huddled low in their chairs. The student

teacher noticed one girl in particular. Her

name was Serena… and she was sitting quietly

at her desk. She was shy and awkward, coming

to school sporadically and did not seem to

have any friends among her classmates. The

student teacher saw a few valentines spread

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over Serena’s desk. Tears were dropping onto

her desk. Concerned for Serena, the student

teacher knelt beside Serena to comfort her. To

her astonishment, Serena’s tears were those of

joy, not sadness as she exclaimed: “Look! Look

at all my valentines! I never thought I would get

even one. And look… I got six!” Like Serena, all

of us need to accentuate the positive and modify

the negative in order to experience many of

life’s blessings.

7

Change Your Food

to Improve Your Mood

More and more studies are confirming a

link between certain foods and our ability to feel

more alert, calm, energetic and upbeat. “We’ve

found that some foods influence the production

of brain chemicals that are directly involved in

determining our mood, mental energy, performance,

and behavior,” says Judith Wurtman,

a nutrition researcher at the Massachusetts

Institute of Technology.

Another who maintains there is a link between

food and mood is Deepak Chopra, MD.,

author of several best-selling books, including

Boundless Energy. Dr. Chopra recommends


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eating these foods which are especially rich in

natural energy:

• Fresh fruits and lightly cooked vegetables;

• Wheat, rice, barley and other whole grains;

• Non-meat sources of protein such as beans;

• Honey as a substitute for refined sugar.

Dr. Chopra also advises avoiding foods which

deplete energy such as red meat, aged cheese, alcohol,

coffee, smoked and canned foods.

8

Study, Learn, and Respond to

Your Sorrow from Wisdom

There are times when sorrow can alert and

awaken us. “I’ve learned that sadness is God’s

cue for me to do something or stop doing something,”

writes Elizabeth, a Midwestern mother

of three children. “Consequently, I’ve become

a better host to sadness when it visits.” Her approach

is a wise and informative one. Study your

sorrow. Dissect it. Try to discover it’s source.

Then, if there are issues in your life, which cause

you this unhappiness, see what can be changed

in order to bring you relief and prevent future

occurrence. Remember that suffering can be a


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great treasure. It can trigger life’s accomplishments

and greatest insights.

* * *

Finally, it can help a great deal to exercise

patience with yourself. Life can be quite cyclical,

with times of sadness followed by times of pleasure

and joy. Try to remind yourself that a time

of sadness is useful because it helps you better

appreciate the bright, sunny days of life. “The

soul would have no rainbow had the eye no

tears,” noted American poet John Vance Cheney.


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Insights on Suffering from Some

of the World’s Great Thinkers

William Wordsworth:

“A deep distress has humanized my soul.”

Saint Augustine of Hippo:

“God had one Son on earth without sin,

but never one without suffering.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon:

“I owe more to the fire and the hammer

and the file than to anything else in my

Lord’s workshop. I sometimes question

whether I have ever learned anything

except through the rod. When my

school room is darkened, I see most.”


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Meister Eckhart:

“Remember this: all suffering comes to an

end. And whatever you suffer authentically,

God has suffered from it first.”

Benjamin Franklin:

“Those things that hurt, instruct.”


Other titles available in

the Peacefinder book series:

You Can Stop Smoking

Addiction Free

Ten Ways to Improve Your Marriage

A Dozen Ways to Defeat Loneliness

Hope in Times of Trouble

Money Management

Stress Management

Survival Tips for Single Parenting

Successful Parenting

Living with Loss

The Healing of Sorrow

Life After Death

Medical Miracle

Gentle Ways to Ease Depression

To order additional titles, visit our online

bookstore at www.peacefinders.org

or call 1-800-728-6872.


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