For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. -- Psalms 30:5
Thursday, May 21, 2015
With the Morning
Jesus spoke of the mother who forgets the pain of giving birth in the joy of receiving her child. The writer of Hebrews speaks of, “… looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
If we go back to the book of Nehemiah, we read of those who returned to Jerusalem from their long exile. When they were instructed in the law, their eyes were opened to how they had fallen short of the Lord’s requirements, and they were grieved. They began to weep (Nehemiah 8:9-10).
Sorrow isn’t a pleasant, but godly sorrow is healthy. One of the dangers of continuing certain habits and being continuously exposed to even depictions of wickedness and lawlessness is that we tend to become desensitized. This is sometimes thought of as “hardening” when, a lot of times, it is more simply ignoring. The Spirit of God must break the shell of indifference and resignation more often than actual hardened evil. The result, though, in either case, is that our hearts are grieved by the presence of that which is displeasing to God.
At some point, however, we must set aside the anguish and the pain and begin to experience the joy of the Lord. We are forgiven. To stay too long in sorrow is to risk developing self-pity: And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Whether our grief comes from conviction or from suffering and loss and the daily trials of life, the Lord does not want us to be overwhelmed or overburdened by it. We may weep through the night for we are, after all, creatures of flesh, and we see not well in the dark. The dawn arrives to break through our darkness. Hope can again be seen.
Though there I times I have trouble believing it, morning always comes.