Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. – Psalm 30:5b
Being a pastor I’m usually aware of quiet a few griefs that folks are going through. In fact, I’d say I’ve seldom met a person who isn’t in some way shape or form going through something that may very well make them weep at night. Their griefs may be for things years in the past, or things presently before them, or even things that are still to come. Some are filled with grief over pain, sickness, or death. Still others are troubled over children’s choices, aging parents, or looming decisions. Grief is brought on by work and school, family and friends, church and interests; you name it, it probably induces grief in some way…and everybody is dealing with it. There’s a simple piece of wisdom that floats around, you never know what people are dealing with so treat them nice. Oh that we would live that piece of wisdom!
Lately as I’ve been thinking about griefs and tears this verse from the Psalms has come to my mind, “weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Now I’d like to move this text beyond the platitudes that have chained it down. Far too often we throw this around when someone is feeling gloomy and grief filled. “There, there” we say “stop worrying and crying, you’ll feel better in the morning, the Bible says so.” Does it really say so? So often we go for the simple answer because we’re uncomfortable and it makes us feel better, not the person who’s burdened under by grief and weeping.
This little Psalm tells me two things. The first is about grief. Grief is real, it is present, it is part of life. It hangs around us and won’t go away; the Bible uses the word tarry. Do you know someone who tarry’s? They don’t just pop in then go away; those who tarry often have a way of long outlasting their welcome. That’s how tears and grief and all those things that are tough are; they long outlast their welcome. So, little piece of advice; stop saying that the grief will pass and you’ll be fine soon. The reality is that grief will, in all likelihood, remain as a constant companion for us all the days of our life.
However, this Psalm also tells me about joy. The Psalmist declares that joy comes with the morning. The word morning is used some 200 times in the Old Testament alone. Throughout the Bible the morning time is pictured as the time of God’s powerful, life giving, salvation inducing, joy filled time. There is perhaps no finer example of this than that occasion, early on the first day of the week when a group of women went to a cemetery and found the tomb, a place of weeping and grief and death, empty. Grief was now empty and in its place came joy.
You see, this Psalm is about that lasting joy that we have in Jesus. Grief and weeping is a reality now; it’s present in your life, you know that. But each morning, as the rising sun casts out the darkness that has entombed us through the night we’re reminded of the other son rise that has cast out weeping and grief. That son rise is for us. You see, here’s the thing, those things that cause us grief and pain and tears; be they sickness like cancer or Alzheimer’s or depression; be they worries over children or parents or spouse; be they fears about work or home or tomorrow; whatever it is for you that causes grief and tears, that has an expiration date. It will come to an end and will be no more. It likely won’t be today or tomorrow, but those things will come to an end. You however, you will go on, Jesus will go on, joy will come. Each morning as the light fills the sky, as the sun rises higher before your eyes recall that son rise of 2,000 years ago and remember the words of promise that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. Each morning take some comfort amidst your pain and grief and worry, even as the tears come down, that the light shines in your darkness and one fine day that darkness will be all gone and all that will remain is the joy filled light. Good morning.