Psalm 30: Joy Comes with the Morning
Joy comes with the morning. This passage gave me comfort years ago when my position as chaplain was abruptly eliminated. One minute I was planning out the next month’s sermons, an hour later I was sitting in my car with twelve years of my life packed into the trunk and back seat.
I had started a preaching series on the Psalms a year before this. The psalm I had been scheduled to preach on that Sunday was Psalm 30. When I read it the next morning, I felt comforted by its assurance of rejoicing in the morning. I wasn’t rejoicing yet, but the promise was there.
As I dealt with shock, denial, anger and sadness over the loss of this position, I reminded myself repeatedly: joy comes in the morning. This too will pass. Perhaps I was on the verge of the greatest adventure yet; this next chapter in my life might very well be the best, I told myself. I reflected on this passage as I puzzled over what to do about my sojourn into the realm of Psalms. Not even a third of the way through, I knew I don’t want to quit, but how to continue? Joy comes in the morning.
What Did I Want?
I no longer have the necessity of preparing a sermon every week to push me into Scripture, but I’m also free to go in different directions. Freed of the need to come up with fifteen to twenty minutes worth of material, I can write shorter, more reflective pieces if I want. But what did I want? A good question. In John’s gospel Jesus asks his disciples, “What are you looking for? What do you want?” So, what did I want?
Joy comes with the morning. Joy can be found within mourning and grief. The writers of the Psalms didn’t wait for God to deliver before thanking God for blessings. They thank God in advance. In the midst of lamentations, the writers thank God for hearing their cries, confident that God will come through for them. And so I trusted, in the morning comes rejoicing. I didn’t know what shape this rejoicing would take; I just knew it would happen.
The sorrows of today, the struggles and challenges, all will pass. They will seem like but a minute in comparison to the joys that tomorrow will hold. God is creating a glorious future for us, opening windows to replace doors that shut. Sorrow lasts but for a moment, joy comes with the morning.
A new beginning was in the making that day six years ago. Since then I have gone through all of the Psalms one time and I’m starting my second round of blog posts. Since then I have been able to write on a full-time basis, something I had been dreaming about most of my life. And so I say with the writer of this psalm: “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee forever.” Psalm 30:11-12
How has God opened windows in your life? How has God turned your mourning into joy? I would love to hear your stories!
The question Jesus asked his disciples is one God continues to ask each of us. It is a beautiful question! What are you looking for? Book six of my Dancing through Life series, Beautiful Questions, asks this question and other questions. Now available for pre-order. Check it out! Also, the first book in the series, Dancing on a High Wire, is now free on Amazon and other estores. Get your copy today!
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