"I will extol thee, O Lord, for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. O Lord, thou has brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down in the pit. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of [God], and give thanks at the remembrance of [God's] holiness. For [God's] anger endureth but a moment; in [God's] favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." - Psalm 30
I think I've been hearing the refrain of Psalm 30:5 all of my life. I've heard it proclaimed with powerful conviction from the pulpit and I've heard it beautifully intoned in the melodies of gospel songs and anthems. There is perhaps no other Psalm that offers as much faithful hope and blessed assurance as this one: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
I had always understood "morning" to be the daybreak that God sends after the nighttime of our misery and suffering. I believed that joy would surely come when daylight appeared, and we could finally see our way out of the trepidations and tribulations of the night. Then, late one night, I received a call, and when I answered the phone, the caller said to me, "Good morning." I looked over at the clock and it was 12:07 a.m. It suddenly dawned on me that morning comes to most of us not at daybreak, but at night.
And since joy comes in the morning, joy must come when we realize that our new day dawns at night. Joy comes when we understand and believe that dark times and dark situations cannot prevent the fulfillment of God's promise and progress in our lives. Joy comes when we celebrate the fact that even in darkness, God is still moving us toward better days.
Though my daylight may not yet have appeared, I am now moved to joyfully pronounce to myself and to others: "Good morning!"
Dear Lord, even in the darkness of our circumstances, help us to realize that you have already brought us through the debacles and depressions of yesterday and days gone by. Now help us to find joy in knowing that the new day of our salvation has already begun. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.