Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Joy

As a pastoral artist, and more importantly as a follower of Jesus, I often find unexpected and sometimes long forgotten promises tucked away in the pages of the great Book of Books.  I admit that I don't find them as often as I'd like, and mainly because I am not exposed to them as often as I should be.  These past months though I have been in a season of searching and being more than I have been in recent memory.  I will tell you that in these seasons that I have experienced from time to time, He is faithful to deliver.  I'd often like it to be sooner than later, but I am also reminded by Gandalf that " a wizard is never late...He arrives exactly when he means to".  In the dark night of the soul as some would term it, that commentary is often not very comforting.  But comforting or not, I do believe it to be true.  In reading through some wisdom in the book of Psalms I have run across one of these hidden promises.  Psalm 30:5 promises those in trying times that "Though sorrow may last through the night, His joy comes in the morning".  Now really, who among us has not experienced trying times of some nature.  Whether its loss of a relationship, loss of employment, loss of a loved one, or a loss of our senses, we've all encountered loss.  In those times, it has been my experience unfortunately, that those who claim the faith that I hold on to, and even those who claim my profession, have a tendency to use verses like this in a cliche form.  I think that turning them into cliches is one of the greatest disservices that we could ever render on the most sacred communication ever offered to us.  Does this mean that we should "buck up" tomorrow is another day or that we should sing and dance "the sun will come out tomorrow"?  I don't think that this even plumbs the depths of the wisdom found here.  Our idea of pain and loss is that it should be taken away immediately.  Our culture screams to us that we don't deserve it, get rid of it, medicate it, deny its existence.  The wisdom of God is the recognition that it in fact is real...pain and loss I mean.  It just is.  It just happens and it's probably, to some extent, going to keep on happening.  The promise of God though is that joy is coming.  It does't promise happiness.  It doesn't even promise healing.  It is His joy within His presence.  His joy is accompanied by His presence.  The reality of it though is that it may take some time...you may need to wait on it.  You and I may be living in the midst of the night, but eventually morning comes.  When you feel abandoned and alone within your pain, remember...morning is coming.  This too shall pass.  Wait a minute, that's another cliche.

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