Better is sorrow than laughter

Friday, June 23, 2006

In times of sorrow, I used to compel myself to read the happy psalms. Not anymore when I realise that I have to be honest with God with my cries; I am not to disguise it with forced laughter.

Contrary to what the world in general believe, Solomon says in Ecc 7:3-4, “Better is sorrow than laughter: for with a sad countenance it is well with the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, and the heart of fools in the house of mirth.”

Is sorrow a good thing? Isn’t it a given that everyone desires to be happy?

When one is sorrowful, he is reduced to the very raw form of his soul. When one is sorrowful, he realises his own weakness and reaches out for help. When one is sorrowful, he feels the hurts of the others and reaches out to help.

Sorrow is evident in the book of Lamentations. Jeremiah’s words cut to the soul. But it is only in heart of sorrow, in the heart of Lamentations, that these words in 3:1-26 are real. A happy soul knows no better.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
....his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
....great is your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
...."therefore I will hope in him."
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
....for the salvation of the LORD.

~ Lam 3:21-26

In that light, sorrow is a good thing but then, given a choice, I still prefer to be happy.

Picture by Luc Sesselle

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3 comment(s)

  1. Great balance. Amen, Maeghan. I could listen to Ecc 7:3-4 all day long!

  2. Maeghan,

    "I am with you always". God's promises say that He is there with us in times of triumph and defeat.

    Really great insight, thanks for the great post.

    God Bless