Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.
There is a saying, "A sorrow shared is divided; A joy shared is multiplied."
Yesterday, I experienced deep, deep joy. A prayer I had been praying for 19 years was realized. I caught a glimpse of profound hope. The joy I felt was inexpressible.
When the joy was shared, many rejoiced with me. I have very verbal and supportive friends who expressed the gladness of their hearts for me. But the Proverb is true; no one can share the depth of joy I experienced, because no one can see or imagine what cannot be expressed.
In the same way, no one else can know the depth of sorrow or bitterness we as individuals might be carrying around. Even those of us who are very open individuals or the most articulate among us cannot totally express what goes on in our own hearts. And even if we could, who could have the depth of compassion needed to set aside their own self to truly enter into the deep pools of another's soul.
Thus, it is an amazing statement when we are told that the Messiah is a "Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief," and that we have the privilege of "sharing in the sufferings of Christ."
It is also amazing to ponder the day when we will realize the joy of the kingdom--a time when tears and grief will be no more.
This is intimacy that is not possible now if all we have is our words; but I do believe it is possible when the Holy Spirit allows and facilitates "deep speaks to deep" moments.
Perhaps this Proverb speaks to the wisdom of God. Could I bear all the sorrow of not only my soul but the souls of those around me? Would the joy of my companions on the journey overwhelm me emotionally to the point of exhaustion?
God tells us not to worry about tomorrow because today's troubles are enough for one day. This is a wise command.
you know I am weak
and my flesh is not strong.
Thank you for limiting
my ability to know or experience
all the sorrow around me.
I do not believe I could bear it.
The same is true for all the joy.
But how wonderful you must be
to know and bear and share
all that each of us carries.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!