When Emotions Collide

We know when we are happy, sad, or somewhere in-between.  But, what happens when we are both happy and sad at the same time?  This can be a very strange state, but is not really that unusual in life, and probably happens more frequently than we think.

Let’s look at some examples of when a person can be both happy and sad at the same time:

  1. When a son or daughter leaves home for the first time.  Sometimes they are going off to college, and sometimes just moving into their own place.  Sometimes they leave home to get married.  Whatever the reason – we are both happy and sad.
  2. When a loved one dies.  Even when we know they will be in the arms of Jesus we are often happy for them, but sad for us.  We want them to be free from the pain they may have suffered in their body, but we really don’t want them to go away.

Those are just a few, but there are many more.  Leaving a secure job to take up a new job with increased pay, benefits, and position can be both a happy and sad event. All at the same time.

Now, someone may say this is not what God intended – that is, for us to be both happy and sad at the very same time, but I think the scriptures show something different.

I see several places where Jesus was both happy and sad, but perhaps the most notable was when he raised Lazarus from the dead.  There was no doubt this situation made our Lord sad.  But, since He knew that Lazarus would be brought back to life, why would He be sad?  Although many reasons have been put forth for why Jesus wept, I think at least one of these was to show that God understands our feelings when we lose a loved one.  At the time Jesus wept we have to remember that Lazarus was still dead.  After Lazarus was raised then we can be happy.

When Moses was called to ministry from the burning bush it is clear he was not completely thrilled with God’s plan.  So, it was with mixed feelings Moses headed back to Egypt.  There were feelings of apprehension, some fear, confidence, and purpose.  There must have also been a feeling of recovering what had been lost 40 years prior.

While having mixed emotions can cause to feel slightly ‘off-center’ and unbalanced, it is a normal part of our life experience.  We do our best to make plans, and to execute those plans, but many things can come into our lives that change or even erase those plans.  We then have a new plan.  Some detours have a way back, and some do not.  Some course changes will forever alter our life path.  But, rest assured – God knows what He is doing.

So, if you feel both happy and sad at the same time do not think it something unusual or unnatural.  It is a part of life, and God understands.

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