I will exalt you, Lord , for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, Lord , brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the Lord , you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.” Lord , when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. To you, Lord , I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, Lord , and be merciful to me; Lord , be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever. – Psalm 30:1-12
Since I have reflected on tears as representing samples of our souls in previous posts I thought I would consider this passage as well. This passage contains two references to weeping or crying (wailing). What does this tell us about the strong emotions at play here? Clearly there is a connection between our emotional well-being and our relationship with God. If we are ruled only by our emotions then we risk dethroning God; and if we ignore our emotions we risk missing the dancing.
The first reference to weeping comes in the statement: “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” This speaks to the ephemeral nature of our emotions. They come and go. God’s favor, a relationship with God, lasts a lifetime. In order to maintain this long term relationship with God we need to be able to manage our emotions and discern the difference between, faith, fact, and feeling.
Managing our emotions is hard. They sometimes seem to have the power to trump the logic that our brains provide. There are certainly biological reasons why this occurs. Our bodies are full of hormones that can affect our mood or emotions. When these hormones are in flux, for example during puberty, the winds of emotion blow hard and fast. Some people also just seem to have more variable emotions than others This may be biological, sociological, or some combination of these factors.
The take home message I get from this passage is that we will experience emotions that will cause us to weep and wail, perhaps not outwardly but we will feel the winds of emotions in our soul. The Good News is God has the ability to turn our wailing into dancing if we let Him. In practice this may take considerable prayer and practice to discern the difference between the deep streams of joy that God promises and the fleeting “happiness” that may come and go like a flash flood.
Prayer: God you promise us Joy in the midst of sorrow. Help us to tap into Your favor that lasts a lifetime.