Friday, May 10, 2013

Joy In The Morning . . . .

Two weeks ago I saw this . . .

. . . and I wrote this:

I saw the most beautiful sunrise during my morning run. Orange melting into purple melting into red. Deepening color spread across the horizon; unseen sun casting pink hues on everything. Those are the colors that speak to me of joy.
Since then it has been sitting in my spirit, brimming and brewing, a Word from the LORD--"Joy comes in the morning."  Psalm 30 whispers, echoing within me, "You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy."  I have sensed a transition happening, as season gives way to season.  The wisdom of Ecclesiastes tells us that "to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."  I can hear the Beatles singing, "turn, turn, turn."

Time is turning, seasons melting into one another, like colors blending themselves across a morning sky.  The dark of night, of lingering weeping, is drawing to a close.  The grief of loss is passing and the sting of hurt subsiding, and into the dark night of this soul Light is forthcoming.

What we do in the dark days matters.  What we realize least when our hearts are bleeding and we go from day to day weeping is that each tear that falls to the ground takes with it a seed.  And in our weeping we are planting things that are only revealed by the lighting of a new day.  We are sowing in our sadness.  And even in the sorrowful times we have a choice.  We can sow more sadness to be reaped as regret and wastedness later on.  Or we can sow the seeds of Hope.  Of Joy.

Here's the thing. 

I never believe God sends the heartache and utter devastation that drives us to our knees.  But He sends forth His Word in all seasons, those seasons when everything is lovely and beautiful, and those seasons when all is darkness as despair.  His Word comes to us.  What we do with His Word makes all the difference.
Even in despair we can be the fertile soil that allows the Word of goodness to be planted in us, taking it in to the darkness of  our broken soil ever so thirsty for living Water.  We can let our hearts hope in that Word until it begins to take on Life within our lives, and we see how it lives and breathes.  And we can see that tender Life springing within bring us back to life.  When that Word is mature within us, the Light emerging after the dark night reveals something ripe for bearing all kinds of beautiful, delicious fruit.
Or we can be bitter, hard, crusted over so that nothing penetrates.  No kindness, no comfort, no balm to the spirit.  We can remain cold and distant, disconnected.  So self-isolated that even when the Word falls soft upon our wretchedness we remain untouched, and the winds of disappointment whisk away the very thing meant to bring us back to to the land of living.  We allow our bereftness to become barrenness, spreading its way to every corner of our empty selves.  When the Light of day comes there is nothing waiting within us to greet it.  The wastedness of our sorrow has born a wasteland in our souls.
We cannot choose the thing that brings us to grief. 
But we can choose the thing that grief will bring us to.
This is God's promise for loss entrusted to His Hands:
Psalm 126
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.  Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb.  May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.  Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. 

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