The Dews of Sorrow


By Wayne S. Walker

“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:22).  For many years, the theme of ABC’s Wide World of Sports was “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”  I was actually watching the Olympics in the year when that poor skier, who was shown over and over again to illustrate “the agony of defeat,” missed his last turn, crashed into the fence, and fell in the snow.  Ouch!  That must have hurt!

Life is like that.  Each of us can undoubtedly look back over his or her life and remember “the thrill of victory”—graduation from school, first car, landing a good job, marriage, the birth of children, etc.  However, all of us have had our share of “the agony of defeat” as well—the deaths of loved ones, financial difficulties, family problems, serious illness, rejection by friends, perhaps even mistreatment by fellow church members, and other such tragedies and heartaches.

In her hymn “The Sands of Time” (#234 in HFWR, though this wonderful stanza is not in that book), Scottish poetess Annie Ross Cousin wrote:

“With mercy and with judgment My web of time He wove,

And aye the dews of sorrow Were brightened by His love.

I’ll bless the hand that guided, I’ll bless the heart that planned,

When throned where glory dwelleth In Immanuel’s land.”

Our lives are like a web woven with “bane and blessing, pain and pleasure.”  There will be trials and tribulations.  Some people react by continuing to grieve over them, harboring grudges, and letting their hurts fester until they become bitter.  It is easy to do.  That is why we are warned, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).

Others react to “the dews of sorrow” by turning to God and allowing them to be “brightened by His love.”  They cast their burdens on the Lord (Psalm 55:22).  Then forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead “in Immanuel’s land,” they just continue pressing on toward the goal (Philippians 3:13-14).  So, whenever you experience “the agony of defeat,” don’t let it keep you down.  Rather, get back up and keep on keeping on, always remembering that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).