I will praise you, Lord, for you have saved me from my enemies. You refuse to let them triumph over me. O Lord, my God, I pleaded with you, and you gave me my health again. You brought me back from the brink of the grave, from death itself, and here I am alive!
Oh, sing to him you saints of his, give thanks to his holy name. His anger lasts a moment, his favor lasts for life! Weeping may go on all night, but in the morning there is joy.
In my prosperity I said, "This is forever; nothing can stop me now! The Lord has shown me his favor. He has made me steady as a mountain." Then, Lord, you turned your face away from me and cut off your river of blessings. Suddenly my courage was gone; I was terrified and panic stricken. I cried to you, O Lord; oh, how I pled: "What will you gain, O Lord, from killing me? How can I praise you then to all my friends? How can my dust in the grave speak out and tell the world about your faithfulness? Hear me, Lord, oh, have pity and help me."Then he turned my sorrow into joy! He took away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy so that I might sing glad praises to the Lord instead of lying in silence in the grave. O Lord my God, I will keep on thanking you forever! Psalm 30: 1-12 (TLB)
Kim Harms lives in Iowa. Every once in a while she is overwhelmed by fears that her cancer will return. The fear often catches her off guard and leads her to despair. She doesn't relish the sad days, but Kim knows it's okay to have them. On the hard days, however, Kim knows that God still loves her. as she endures the melancholy and tears, she knows the pain will eventually pass.
Recently, on the evening of a sad day, a group of her son's friends came for dinner. They come every week and fill her house with laughter while they eat Kim's mediocre cooking. Kim's sadness almost caused her to cancel the gathering, but something happened as they all happily crammed around their dining table. Kin's sadness lifted and was replaced with joy. Those boys will likely never know it, but God used their happiness to bring Kim peace.
Much in life can bring deep sadness, such as cancer or a loss of a loved one. But God is good and a giver of good things. Life itself is a gift. Kim's sons are a gift. Their friends are a gift. Our children and their friends are our gifts. Our time on this earth is a gift - every sad second and every joy-filled moment.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you that you are always with us - even in our deep sadness. Thank you for the beautiful ways that you show up to bring us joy, in Jesus' name. Amen.