We know it when things,
Are not going okay,
There is something within us,
Some kind of delay.
When sadness strikes,
It finds us in a mess,
And abiding in fear,
Cannot ever bless.
FEAR is a dark force that lurks silently and it underpins much that prevents us living the good life. We cannot help a great deal of it, but it helps to be aware.
One of the biggest fears we have is of being weak. None of us wants to be known as anxious, jealous, lonely or sad. Yet, chances are at least a couple of dozen people reading this will feel those very things – as they read – mostly because reading this type of article is predictive of one of such states.
Let me just say this: fear of anything other than the fears of God (which includes those dangers that threaten life) is a waste of time, effort, and energy.
If we can find the capacity and creativity to challenge our fears – especially around these ‘weaknesses’ – then we will be blessed with God’s power. But the paradox is this: to challenge our fears we must own up to them. This means owning up to our weaknesses. And that means we are intentionally vulnerable.
How do we redeem strength via God’s power by owning up to our weaknesses? It sounds counterintuitive.
By owning our weaknesses and by being openly vulnerable we are showing courage. God blesses that courage as we share confidently though humbly. When we are unafraid of our sadness we are unafraid of doing anything that might make us happier.
Sadness is no wrong of itself. It is what it is, and sometimes we have no real idea why we are sad. Why should we be afraid of something we don’t understand? It is better to accept it.
When we can allow ourselves to be sad, we also take the pressure off ourselves and we might come to know the courage we need when we simply persist in our sadness. Whenever we see signs of those ancient virtues – courage, humility, wisdom, patience, etc – we ought to be encouraged, for God is pleased.
When we are unafraid of our sadness we are unafraid of doing anything that might make us happier. We see no purpose in fearing our sadness and we let it be what it is, and in such freedom sadness can turn into peace because of acceptance. Sadness is no weakness to be ashamed of – honesty is blessed.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.