Obscure Sorrows

Have you ever been so tired that just the very weight of you tires you and pulls you down and insists that you rest? Have you ever felt that tired? But even being that tired you feel something obscure yet forceful that won't let you sleep too deeply. A thought came to mind this past month a couple of words I have deliberated on over and over. Obscure Sorrows! Just a couple of words when you first look at them but they hold great weight to everyone that contemplates them for any length of time. I found a definition that framed the way I saw the words from some guy named John Koenig. Here is what he wrote for a definition of the words on Tumbler: 

Obscure Sorrows
n. a recurring thought that only seems to strike you late at night—an overdue task, a nagging guilt, a looming and shapeless future—that circles high overhead during the day, that pecks at the back of your mind while you try to sleep, that you can successfully ignore for weeks, only to feel its presence hovering outside the window, waiting for you to finish your coffee, passing the time by quietly building a nest.

I went to bed a while ago, so tired that my eyes and feet were at about the same level. My body just barely feeling like a part of this world. I can't remember being so tired but even though I somehow dragged myself into the bed, and even quickly faded into the darkness of sleep...something nagged at me! I felt something shapeless circling my brain trying to find a point of access. Those words finally hit me and forced my eyes open and my feet to move to the computer...obscure sorrow!

I remember feeling these words in high school when I didn't complete an assignment that I had plenty of time to get done, but put it off until the last minute, usually the night before I needed to turn it in. I felt those words when I didn't study for tests that I knew I should at least review some material for the next day. I felt those words when I wanted to tell my mom how much she meant to me before I left to join the army, but didn't! I felt those words when I wasn't honest with someone I married, but really didn't want to, but did it anyway and life for us as a couple was a disaster. Our children paid the price. In other words, I have felt the weight of obscure sorrow every time I did something contrary to what should have been done.

Do you see where I am going with this my friends? We have all felt sorrow but what about sorrow that we have not dealt with. Obscure sorrow is something that hits all of us if we are sensitive enough to feel it when it comes. Most of us choose to ignore it, but it pecks at the back of our minds. It can even make us feel like we don't belong in this world. It can bring depression to your door, it can bring pain so severe that you feel like you will never be free of it. Obscure sorrow not dealt with can drive us to do uncharacteristic and foolish things. Obscure sorrow can occur from a number of things: rejection, pride, unrepentant sin, bad decisions, procrastination that costs us terribly, foolish behavior...get the picture? All the things we do that if we were sensitive the leading of God's Holy Spirit we would not normally do.

I won't go much further with this except to say that God has a remedy for obscure sorrows!  An old song comes to mind that contains the cure for idiocies we make because of the battle of our human wants and so-called needs over God's will for our lives. If God had left us to what we feel or think-to figure out His purpose in our trials by ourselves-we would surely be hopeless. But He has not left us alone; we can rest on what He has told us in His word. God tells us in Isaiah 45:6-8 that He is "the LORD, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity." God is the wise author of all of our circumstances, even our pain. That is a very difficult truth to accept, but through the gospel of God's grace we have these additional promises: "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28) and "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39) This song is a cry for the Lord to help us believe this truth for when trials and sorrows come we would be hopeless without it.


Verse 1: 
When sorrow comes and my heart knows 
The weight of God's most crushing blows, 
My soul would faint, my faith would sink 
If left to what I feel or think. 
My soul will hope, my faith will stand 
In knowing that it was His hand: 
My Father's love and sov'reign pow'r 
Designed my worst and darkest hour. 

Verse 2: 
I rest in knowing He's the one 
who sends the clouds that block the sun. 
For He grows faith through bouts with pain 
as flowers blossom from the rain. 
In this my bout with pain is won: 
that He has claimed me as His Son 
and does as ev'ry father should– 
He gives the gifts He knows are good. 

Verse 3: 
No depth below, nor height above 
could ever keep me from Your love. 
For since You gave Your Son to bleed, 
You will supply my ev'ry need. 
O Lord, Your gracious help I seek, 
remember that my flesh is weak. 
O Father, give me eyes to see 
that You work only good for me.

Now I can sleep as I deal with obscure sorrows that I created because I would not listen to a loving Father who knows the way, and the future for me is in His Mighty Hands!

See you next blog,


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