A catch phrase, the lyric of a song, a promise for each new day, “Joy comes…”
I still remember the pastor from long ago who told me, “Remember Matt, it’s always darkest before it gets black.” I was complaining to him about a series of unfortunate events in my life (a running theme for me it would appear). He wanted to remind me that things could be worse, to offer some perspective on my outlook and dealing with the life God gave. He succeeded in only making me angry with him for not commiserating with me in my time of need. Silly, silly man. Pearls before swine.
Our expectation with this life is that things will be joyful, that we will be happy, content. We are shocked and angered when it doesn’t turn out that way. Somehow, we are deluded into believing that we deserve more than what we have. God has failed in his agreement with us when we find ourselves in difficult, sometimes even horrific situations. So we rant and shake our fists at the heavens to demand his blessing, coerce his movement on our behalf and our further incensed when our prayers go unanswered. But are they.
The title phrase comes from Psalm 30, an excellent chapter to read. It talks about being saved from the depths, from his enemies, from the pit. These are all things that we can relate to. Where it gets sticky is the part where he talks about being secure. “When I felt secure, I said, ‘I will never be shaken.'” David (the writer of this Psalm) credits his troubles to God hiding “his face” from him. We don’t want to think of our troubles as an answer, a furnace to remove the dross of our security. “I’d like to remain secure, thank you very much.” But we aren’t secure.
Joy comes when our security is firmly placed on the only thing that is secure, the Heighth and Majesty, the Power and Glory that is our God. Our foundations are shaken and we cry out in pain. But if we never come to lose ourselves, our securities, we will never find God. And if we can never quit blaming him for all that we perceive as wrong, and begin thanking Him for who He is and what He is always doing, we will never know joy.
Funny to me that in the English I hear a play on words. “Joy comes with the morning.” Joy comes with the mourning.