3 reasons it is good to be sad after a chronic illness diagnosis

Who wants to be sad? No one. But what if it is actually a good thing?

3 reasons it's good to be sad and grieve over chronic illness and what to do | www.calledtowatch.com

I don’t like being sad. Do you?

Being sad means I no longer feel like laughing at someone’s joke or daydreaming in the sun. Being sad can mean I get headaches from crying, or find it difficult to concentrate during lectures, sermons or long conversations.

And yet, the truth is, when tragedy strikes our loved ones, it can actually be helpful to be sad.

Here’s why.

3 reasons it’s good to be sad

1. Sadness is reality

Let us not lose sight of the fact that when someone we love is suffering we ought to be sad.

It’s not merely ‘okay’ or ‘acceptable’ – but it is good.

If your heart does not break at the new distress of someone you love, something is not right.

Feeling sad means you’re human. It means you have a living, breathing, sympathetic heart, and that is good. We were not created to be stone statues, but living people created in the likeness of a God who weeps as well as laughs.

Sadness is the right response to tragic reality. It means you see the world as it is. Life is not all happy games and hopes fulfilled. It is just as equally a dark valley and night time tears.

To see and feel sorrow when it is present is good.

Sadness is the right response to tragedy. It is part of being human – tweet!

2. Sadness is better

In the midst of tragedy we all react in different ways. Any one of us might be angry, bitter, disillusioned, cynical or sad. We might be all of these at once. That is okay – but out of all these negative emotions I know which I’d rather be.

I’d rather be sad.

Why? Because I think Sad is less likely to lash out at others and injure them. Sadness is more likely to simply grieve rather than bargain or question. In Sadness we sit and weep, and I think that is preferable to running away.

Sadness is not a sin.

3. Sadness can lead to God

Sadness is not an end in itself. In sadness we are forced to see life as it really is, and we are forced to want more.

Nothing on this earth can make us truly happy, and being sad reminds us of this truth. In doing so, it reaffirms the Christian belief that this world is broken and hurting, and needs a Saviour.

Sadness can force us to seek the one Person who can make us truly happy, and in this it is good.

How do I use my sadness for good? (3 steps)

It’s all very well for me to explain that sadness can be good… but how do we make this good appear? As much as it’s nice to know our sadness is not evil, we still don’t enjoy it and we don’t even like it.

So what do we do? We:

  1. Admit we are sad – if we truly believe it’s okay to be sad, let’s not be afraid to say so.
  2. Allow comfort – if good is to come out of our sadness, we must not let it become a selfish, prideful, isolating experience. Let’s not believe the lie that just because someone else can’t take away the source of your sadness that this means they can’t comfort you. Let’s open ourselves up, and give others the opportunity to be Christ to us.
  3. Turn to God – let Him redeem your sadness. He might not take it away immediately. We might not feel instant relief, but persevere. Let’s keep telling Him our sorrows, keep sharing our aching hearts. Take every opportunity to demonstrate that even in sadness He is your God. He knows what it is to be sad and can alone comfort.

And so… we weep?

It’s an extremely odd thing to admit that sadness can be good. Someone can easily argue that every situation is different, and sadness is not always good.

And they would be correct.

But it can be good. And that, my friends, is the power of the cross. The power of God to redeem every situation. We can know, at the very least, that our sorrow is not an evil thing, a shameful thing, a forsaken thing. And why is that?

Because we have a Saviour who was sad.

“Jesus wept.” John 11:35

// What is the worst part about sadness? Do you believe it can ever be a good thing? Has it ever been a good thing in your life?

Come join the conversation or comment below!

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Author: Emily J. M.

Hi, I'm Emily. Two of my closest family members struggle with chronic illness, and I watch them. That's hard, and so I write about life as a 'Watcher', what it looks like to support them and find Hope.

2 thoughts on “3 reasons it is good to be sad after a chronic illness diagnosis”

  1. I have to say I have never thought about sadness being a good thing but you have definitely given me a new perspective. I do think sadness can be good, not only does it open up the opportunity for relationships to blossom but it also gives us an opportunity to come to Jesus in our weakest time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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