Treasure Valley Prays

A Meditation on Joy

watching the sun rise
“Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning”
(Psalm 30:4-5).

I heard this story about a college student practicing the piano. They were trying to learn the song “Joy Cometh in the Morning.” There was a complicated chord change right after “Weeping may endure for the night, but. . .” Every time they got to the chord for “Joy” there was a pause; then they would start the piece over again. I understand the principle of practicing this way, but for those who could not help but overhear, it became at first funny, then downright irritating.

Right now it seems we are stuck in a long night of weeping. Remember, way back last March, when we wanted to open the churches for Easter? It seems like a lifetime ago. I remember telling someone “they would never close the churches.” And singing in a group? That must be my favorite thing; how can that not be okay? How wrong we were, about everything. It has been like a long, kaleidoscopic nightmare.

Psalm 30 was written by King David and is listed as a thanksgiving for recovery from a grave illness. I love the psalms; they give voice to my feelings when I cannot put them into words. I understand insomnia and weeping silent tears into my pillow. Many of us are struggling with stress, depression, and anger. No morning is in sight.

In verse 6 David declares, “As for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I shall never be moved.’” Like us, he was living large: no wants, no dangers, no fears. Life was good. For us it was the same: we had work and entertainment and freedom to interact with each other. Who could imagine that it would be taken away? Today we find so much pain and loss all around us. We grieve for those who have died, and lose heart over the division in our country. I get stuck in what I call my “hamster wheel.” My worries go round and round in my mind, but there is never resolution or solution. If you have ever looked death in the face, you have realized that all the “stuff” in our lives is not the important thing. Climb out of your hamster wheel! We must pare away all those trivial trimmings to find our true solace. “Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me! O LORD, be my helper!” (verse 10).

King David testifies that God heard him: “O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me” (verse 2). Listen to David’s words. Read the Psalms again. Trust God with your unknown future. Even when the night seems endless, remember that morning always comes. Don’t get stuck “weeping in the night”! Move on to the Joy! Confide your griefs to God in the night, but have faith that God will bring morning at last.

Let us pray...

Lord God, you created the day and the night. You made each of us, with our varied strengths and weaknesses. We trust in you to guide us in the world. When we are overwhelmed with the sorrows of life, come to us with comfort. Help us with our unbelief. We give you thanks for your blessings in our life. Amen.

Picture of Di Seba

Di Seba

Member of Trinity Lutheran, Nampa ID

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