“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)
I wanted you to know that it’s true ! It’s pretty certain we will have trouble in our lives and it’s pretty certain there will be weeping …but joy really does come!
Ironically, I could have also entitled this post, “Joy Comes in the Mourning“. Mourning seems to point out the desperation in our heart and desperation motivates us to look for the light leading to the way out. In essence then, mourning can be a catalyst for true joy — the joy that brings real satisfaction and an inner peace of mind. It’s that whole “when joy meets sorrow” package again.
Just as deep as our grieving can go, so also our joy. Somewhere in the middle of what looks like the darkest night, God gives a light –even if we only see a tiny flame — and oh how bright that little flame is when we’re in the darkest place. I know this because I’ve experienced it this week in a very personal way. In the place that seemed so hopeless, God came to carry me through.
I felt His hope through the love of people who really cared …people who prayed — going to God on my behalf. That is still so humbling and amazing to me ! I don’t want to say “It works !” because that makes it sound like a formula to be bottled and sold at every corner . What I do want to say is that God works …prayer matters and it’s this amazing thing He designed for mutual communication and intimacy and sharing our hearts with Him. Something shifts in the heaven’s. We don’t always see it — but something shifts. Maybe the effect is not seen immediately or for days or years , but there is working and shifting and moving going on. I can’t fully explain it but I know this to be true. I felt His mercies new in the morning … His faithfulness truly great …His compassion never-failing — just like He said.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)
I also wanted you to know something else I’ve learned to be true about God this week …
God is the God Who sees.
He sees you right where you are and right in the middle of your thoughts or circumstances. He sees you in your room crying, praying, huddled under a blanket. He knows you’re wondering how you’re going to get through the next minute, the next hour, the next day and He’s already working — making a way for you so that you won’t fall under the weight of it all. You will have more than you feel you can handle but I can promise you this … we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV) There’s no limit …no expiration date …no black-out dates …no off-days …no office hours …no dropped calls …no out-of-service areas.
I love to see the places in the Bible where God speaks so tenderly to those who are feeling crushed, lonely, overwhelmed with grief and brokenhearted —
…like the woman who had been mistreated to the point that it seemed the only way out was to run away. But running away from it all only put the baggage in a different geographical place — same bag — different location. But God said words to this woman like…”The Lord has heard of your misery, ” “I have heard you.” And concerning this woman’s little boy God says, “Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.” (from Genesis 21) Every Mom wants to know that God hears not only her own cries but those of her children as well. I want you to know — He does see you and He does hear you !
And this lonely, mistreated woman “gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me. ‘ ” She knew this to be true. He had met her in her deepest grief — her loneliest moment — way out in the middle of nowhere !
He also spoke words like —
… “I have indeed seen the misery of my people … I have heard them crying out …and I am concerned about their suffering.” (Exodus 3:7)
And to a single mom at the funeral procession for her only son …
When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
from Luke 7 (NIV)
The tenderness in which Jesus speaks to this woman touches something deeply in my heart. “His heart went out to her and He said, ‘Don’t cry.’ ” He says that to us too, you know. It’s like He put His hands on her tear-filled face and gently said, “Don’t cry,” “I’ll never leave you,” “Don’t be afraid.” Then Jesus so sweetly gives the boy back to His mother! He saw her weeping …He responded to her as a person who was brokenhearted …then He responded to her deepest need …He put back in her arms the precious treasure she felt was forever gone from her touch.
I know this Jesus and I’ve known his arms to bring back what seemed lost forever — to place back in your arms the hope and strength that you thought might be gone forever. Because you see, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) I know something of this “crushed” feeling and I also know of the Father who gets right up close …close enough to pick you up and hold you and carry you. He has done this for me just this week. The story did not end on Tuesday’s post — there’s always more to the story …more of what God does in the journey …it’s never wasted space — ever!
I want you to know God not only sees but He hears our cries for help and He responds to our need.
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help. ”
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever
Psalm 30:10-12 (NIV)
Our tears are collected and poured out in healing rain. I know this to be true and I wanted you to know too. And out of a place this week that seemed all hope was gone, God saw me, He heard me, He rescued me and with the people of long ago, I am humbled and thankful and moved that God would come so close to me — close enough to see and hear and respond .
“…and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped .” (Exodus 4:31, NIV)
I had to tell you … I couldn’t keep silent …I didn’t want to leave the story unfinished …
” that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
I’ll leave you today with the words to a song we sang “back in the day” by Bill and Gloria Gaither because I know some of you out there have already been singing this song in your head 🙂 …
To invest your seed of trust in God, in mountains you can’t move,
You have risked your life on things you cannot prove,
But to give the things you can not keep for what you cannot lose,
Is the way to find the joy God has for you,
Hold on my child,
joy comes in the morning.
Weeping only lasts for the night.
Hold on my child,
joy comes in the morning.
The darkest night means dawn is just in sight.