Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Psalm 30 (NRSV)
I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up,
and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O LORD,
you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O LORD, I cried,
and to the LORD I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me!
O LORD, be my helper!”
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
This psalm includes one of my favorite reminders: “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” The NRSV Bible categorizes it as a psalm of “Thanksgiving for Recovery from Grave Illness.”
I was young the first time my mother was very sick, but I was old enough to realize how much I needed her as I continued to grow up. I knew some of her dreams and plans for me, and I needed her guidance. I also knew how hard she prayed to be able to continue to raise me. I cried as I prayed for her. Thankfully, she did recover.
There are many times when people “cry to God for help.” Maybe you felt certain about the direction your life was to take only to have those plans fall through. The “weeping” may have been literal or figurative, but the extreme disappointment existed. That night of weeping may not have been part of a 24-hour period, but in time you began to see that your plan had some critical flaws. Joy in God’s morning did come later.
I also appreciate the idea that our ultimate joy will come in the morning when we wake up in heaven “when our task on earth is done,” to quote a well-known hymn.
God, thank you for everything you have given us. Lord, we know life doesn’t always go smoothly, and we know from experience that we learn valuable lessons during the times of weeping, but it is still so easy to resent the difficult, unhappy periods. At those times, it is hard to remember to ask your help. Please keep us mindful that you are always with us then. Keep us mindful, too, that you have promised us strength and comfort when we ask. We’re thankful we can ask you to be with us as we go through this day. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
Go with God.