Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.Psalm 30:5 ESV
Finding Joy in the Hard Places
Throughout my years of reading the Scriptures, this verse has been one of my favorites. It has brought such comfort and joy in so many hard places. When night fell it seemed that the problems always loomed much larger in the dark than in the light of day. And as my heart ached with the weight of so many burdens, I held tightly to the promise that the Lord would bring the dawn of His light–the night of the trial could not last forever. And He did bring such peace to my heart as I watched the light dawning in so many of those dark, hard struggles.
The Hard Place of Chronic Illness
However, when chronic illness fell upon me several years ago, I found this verse taking on a literal meaning that hit me in a new way. The physical pains brought new tears in the evening. Every time I lay down, needing rest so deeply, the throbbing would heighten. Every time I finally drifted off to sleep, a jolt of fresh pain would awaken me. And the anxiety that accompanied so many of the medications brought nightmares and levels of pain that finally left me weeping before my Lord.
“How long will this night last, Lord Jesus? When will You bring the rescue?”
Finding Joy in the Morning
Finally, every morning, when the rising of the sun would finally light up my window, I could hear His words echoing in my heart:
“Rejoice, my child! We made it through one more night! My own heart is filled with joy to see you trusting Me even here.”
I could hear His words, and I could rejoice in the sunlight, but I could not rejoice at the coming night that I knew would fall again, all too soon. Recently though, He has been asking me to offer even that pain in the night up to Him as an offering. It has made little sense to me until I came across these Scriptures recently. Words that again, I have read so many times, suddenly jumped off the page for me:
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 ESV
Jesus Feels Our Pain
Additionally, Jesus endured the cross, and suffered that shame for us, but why? For the JOY that was set before Him. He offered Himself, every pain and every burden that was taken for us, and He gave it all over to God, for the joy of bringing us to His Father. Could I offer my own pain in that same way? Could I see my own sleepless and pain-filled nights as a place of offering to Him?
“Oh Lord, how I long to be able to offer it all to you? But even that offering is too hard for me. I don’t know how I can do that.”
Into the midst of my tears, He brought His Words to me yet again. This time they were ancient words, uttered to God’s people who had been long at work, obeying the Lord to rebuild His dwelling place and the wall of protection around His city. And God had called them to celebrate their place with Him:
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.”Nehemiah 8:10 ESV
Finding Joy in the Morning Through Jesus
Consequently, it was the very answer that He had been whispering to my heart every morning. It is the JOY of the LORD that will be my strength. I cannot strive to attain that. But He has already won it for me. He bore all that pain for me, and now He is the One who can show me how to offer my own pain back to Him again and again, every dark night.
And always, the morning of HIS light of Joy will dawn in my heart, because it is His gift, His fruit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.Galatians 5:22,23 ESV
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One More Thing – Featured Posts
Here are the featured posts from October 2019 Legacy Link-up. Kudos to Tammy Kennington and Karen Sebastian.
Tammy Kennington had the most clicks last month. Go check out her post What Freedom in Christ Looks Like.
My Favorite Linked Post in October
My favorite post was Karen Sebastian’s post. Karen was participating in the 30-day writing challenge. She wrote on the theme “How to Live 101 Wonderful Years” in celebration of her father. This post on Joy was a perfect segue into the November theme of joy.
You can find Bettie blogging from her home in a small town in Southeast Wisconsin. She is on a journey of walking forward with Jesus, in the middle of her own pain and weaknesses from multiple chronic illnesses. The beauty of nature is a joy that always calls to her, as well as the joy of her family and 7 young grandchildren. She and her husband have been married for over 40 years and take great joy in their weekend coffee breaks together.