The Weighted Vest

As an athlete in high school I would sometimes wear a weighted vest as part of my strength training regiment. Weighted vests vary in weight. I remember them being anywhere from 10 to 50 pounds.

Weighted vests do not hinder movement in any capacity. You can walk, jog, or sprint with one. Pushups, pull-ups, lunges, squatting, and dips are all good exercises one can do while wearing the vest. The purpose of the vest is to create resistance in movement to build strength. 

Recently, my father left this world and went to be with Christ. Caring friends, co-workers, and neighbors have consistently asked me, “How are you doing?” The question is lovingly simply, but each time I answer it I am reminded of a weighted vest. The sadness I feel fits over me like one of those vests. I can still do everything that I normally do, but the movement of life feels heavier.

No one wears a weighted vest all of the time. The athlete wears it while training, but not throughout the whole day. Sadness is like that. It wraps itself around us for moments in the days and weeks after a loss. It can be really heavy, but for the most part we keep moving. Some days are better than others, but sadness is unpredictable. The athlete gets to choose when they wear the vest. The one suffering loss does not get to choose when they feel sad.

As I bear the weight of sadness, two verses from the Bible have become anchors:

Psalm 30:5 – Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.

Jeremiah 31:13 – I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.

They comfort me with 2 truths:

  1. Sadness will come and go. I appreciate the word “may.” Weeping may last through the night. It may not. Sadness is unpredictable except for two things: it will come, and it will go. When it comes, life will feel heavy. When it goes, joy will replace it. 
  2. Sorrow being removed and replaced with joy is a God thing. God says, “I will turn their mourning to joy…I will exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.” Conventional wisdom tells us that time heals our sadness, but when it comes to sadness, we don’t really want healing. We want an exchange. We want to trade it in for joy. God is only the only one who can make that exchange. He promises to do it. I can personally testify He does. Not just once, but each time I give my sadness to Him.

We can wear the weight of sadness for many reasons, but the causes do not cancel out the promises of God. If we take our sadness to God, if we trust Him with the losses we endure in life; He will take our sorrow and replace it with joy.

Here is a song that has encouraged me through my recent loss. I hope it encourages you.

2 Comments on “The Weighted Vest

  1. I so very “ get” that grief comes and goes in unpredictable waves. My Dad died 1 year ago this past Memorial Day Weekend early on Sunday morning. I know he is GREAT and with Jesus and my mother. My sadness I for myself as I adjust. Love ya’ Pastor Cary! Ride the waves!


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