“A time to weep, and a time to laugh.” – Ecclesiastes 3:4

Fresh from the donut shop, I was savoring my cup of coffee and treat early in the morning. I had some work to do on the roof of the church, so I set my breakfast on a landing at the top of the stairs and proceeded to carry my tools up to the roof. As I stepped out on the roof, I heard the fateful shutting of the door behind me and knew that I was locked out.

Then I remembered that my coffee and donuts were sitting at the top of the stairs. For two-and-a-half hours I was stuck on that roof—while my treats grew cold and stale. Being so early in the morning, I was unable to get anyone’s attention to let me down. I decided to occupy myself by cleaning up the debris on the roof and stacking it in piles here and there. It was time well spent, but I could have wept over my donuts and coffee on the other side of the locked door. In contrast, everyone who heard about my roof episode laughed! Well, eventually I laughed too.

Our focus verse says there is a time to weep, and a time to laugh. That statement is so obviously true, yet sometimes we act as though this fact is a problem. Some of us simply do not like weeping, or more accurately, we do not like feeling sad, so we try to avoid it at all costs. However, the Bible says that there is a time when weeping is all right.

Feeling sorrow and weeping are not meaningless actions; they serve a purpose. For example, I learned a valuable lesson from my sorrow: I now eat my donuts at ground level! Even though my experience was not serious, it reveals the fact that when our mistakes cause us to be sad, we are much less likely to make the same mistake again in the future. Also, sadness that results from tragedy helps us heal, and in a way, sadness makes us appreciate the times of laughter a little more than we would otherwise. We may not like it, but there is a time and a purpose for weeping.

Having a positive attitude is commendable and appropriate in most circumstances; but when we go through a difficult time in life, we must not deny the reality of what we are experiencing. When it is time to laugh, we should laugh, and when it is time to weep, we should weep. That is what life is all about.

Father in Heaven, Thank You for giving spice to life, even if it sometimes means weeping. There is a time for every thing under the sun; may You give me grace to take advantage of each moment. Amen.

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