Scripture: “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning…”
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God: I will give thanks to you forever.” Excerpts from Ps 30:4-12
Observation: The Psalmist turns the tense of this chapter from speaking to God to speaking to himself. Then he speaks to other folks. Up, in, and out: What does it all mean? I cannot get away from the triune-ness of my own life in Him.
Analysis: One of the objectives (if not the primary objective) of journaling is to reveal my heart on paper.
Why is that? I think so that I can see later the goodness of God in my life and how He took my present circumstances and turned them into dancing. I subjectively write now so I can objectively read and review later—part of that “Examine yourself” directive in 2 Cor 13:5.
What person do I know that exhibits the most patience? My guess is the one who makes the time to put thoughts to paper (or Word program like what I am doing now).
Am I patting myself on the back or polishing my halo? Goodness, may it never be. I may be the least patient person I know over the age of 3.
I read the references above (and, really, all three of these Psalms) and while I see some triumphal declarations by the Psalmist, most of what my imagination says is the Psalmist is grinding out Scriptural/Doctrinal truth, spoken out loud, so his ears can hear and speak to his heart—making a reminder of the Goodness of God while struggling with his emotions and thoughts.
“Weeping may tarry for the night…” How many times do I fall asleep to the tune of “Deliver me, O God! Help me in my distress (or whatever other word falls into that space)” and I either literally/figuratively cry myself to sleep? Often enough these days to wonder about how really convicted I am about being a disciple!
“Joy comes in the morning…” It seems it has been a long time since I awoke with Joy in the Majesty. The prophet Jerimiah laments in Lamentations 3 (like the Psalmist and is recommended reading) and comes to the same conclusion: “But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning….” (Lam 3:21-23b—don’t just read the eye-candy parts, read all of it).
I write to remind myself that there are not only “dark times of the soul” but also foggy, murky, undefinable laments, discouragements, and depressions that occur in me. The response that they trigger is to remind myself of God’s indescribable Mercy and Love towards me, undeserving as I am.
Do those reminders always reach my mind so that “my mourning turns into dancing?” Not always. But I am convinced of this: If I haven’t practiced reminding and speaking the Gospel to the face of the mirror in the joyful times of my life, what I am experiencing now would be so much worse.
Prayer: Father, in the midst of dimming light I rejoice in You—even as my “rejoicing” comes through a clinched jaw and gritted teeth of determined self-preaching of the Gospel to my soul. Why, O Lord, does this linger so? What am I not hearing from You? Lift this weight from my countenance, O Lord, and let me sing and dance with joy again. AMEN.