Psalm 30: Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Joy comes with the morning. I’ve been living with this passage for the past month, since July 18 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.
The psalm I was scheduled to preach on next 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’ve reminded myself repeatedly, in the morning rejoicing. This too will pass. Perhaps I’m on the verge of the greatest adventure yet; this next chapter in my life might very well be the best. I’ve reflected on these words as I’ve puzzled over what to do about my sojourn into the realm of Psalms. Not even a third of the way through, I know I don’t want to quit, but how to continue? In the morning comes rejoicing.
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 do I want? A good question. In John’s gospel Jesus asks his disciples, “What are you looking for? What do you want?” So, what do I want?
Joy comes with the mourning. 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 trust, in the morning comes rejoicing. I don’t know what shape this rejoicing will take; I just know it will happen.
The sorrows of today, the struggles and challenges, all will pass, will seem like but a minute in comparison to the joys that tomorrow will hold. God is creating a glorious future for me, opening a window to replace the door that shut. Sorrow lasts but for a moment, joy comes with the morning. Each day is a new beginning.
“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