Many years ago, a back-country woman in Florida received news that her son had been killed in the war. Shortly thereafter, she was seen hoeing in her garden.

“It just isn’t fitting,” chided a neighbor who thought it was inappropriate to be gardening instead of grieving.

“Friend,” said Effie Mae, “I know you mean well, but Jim rejoiced to see green things growing because it meant that his mother and the young ones would be eating. This is his hoe, and when I’m hoeing I can almost feel his big, strong hands under mine and hear his voice saying, ‘That’s good, Mom, that’s good.’ Working is the only headstone I can give him.”

Jesus also suffered the pain of grief when He was told of the death of John the Baptist, but it didn’t deter Him from His work. After a brief period of solitude (Matt. 14:13), His great compassion led Him to heal the sick and to feed the multitude of 5,000.

Is your heart broken today? Does life seem empty? Do you feel like giving up? There is hope in the Master’s example. Take up whatever duties lie before you. Dedicate them to God. Refuse the luxury of self-pity. Do something to lift the burdens of others. Remember how Jesus handled His sorrow; He’ll strengthen you to do the same.