After the death of our son, I read a verse in the Bible that said, “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) I was all too familiar with the first part, as tears wet my pillow night after night. But joy in the morning? No, just a dead feeling of loss.
The word “endure” used in older translations was more expressive of its reality. The dictionary defines the word as, “ to bear patiently, to tolerate, exist, last, and to suffer without yielding.”
That was all too true for me, especially as just getting through the day was at times just existing. Yet I found myself thinking about this “joy in the morning” clause. And also the “night” part. Was there a time when I would feel happy again?
How long must I tolerate my grief? Was there some sorrow time-table? Would I just wake up one morning with a smile on my face. Slowly I began to understand that I was confusing happiness with joy. Two different things. No, I would never be happy our son had died, and no “morning” would change that.
But, joy was possible, a joy that comes as a gift from God. Something outside my self. Something not defined by what happens to me. A joy that can come as a promise. I can’t manufacture real joy, I can only receive it.
As I began to absorb this truth, I found that in spite of my ever-changing feelings, there could be for me a new morning each day. If my focus could be not on myself and how I was bearing up, but on Something or Someone, beyond my hurt.
Now I live through other nights of weeping, which will come to us regardless, for we know life can be hard. Yet I don’t have to become bitter, and allow that poison to destroy me.
This is because of the One Who was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”.
Only God’s Son could enter my grief and swallow it up with His Joy.
As I began to grasp this, I began to live fully again. My happiness was not based on intangibles as it used to be. A rough day didn’t have to rob me of joy if I wasn’t depending on it to meet my needs.
This joy was a gift I could choose to receive. I could breathe clear air again. See the beauty around me. My eyes were opened to His Grace.
My heart could be, if I chose to be, filled not with regret, but with this love that took my sorrow and gave me this lasting joy.
And just as it is for me, it can be also for you. We were never meant to just grit our teeth when tragedy strikes, but to turn to the only One who will not only carry us through but give us His amazing Grace and Joy.
Blessings and joy