How Long the Night?

Tucked inside a psalm that rejoices about God’s faithfulness in answering prayer, we find a phrase that has been used to encourage in difficult times. In Psalm 30 we find these words:

Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Life can and will, from time to time, throw you the proverbial curve ball. It will catch you off-guard and you will find yourself feeling trapped, and possibly distressed to the breaking point. And, even with promises like this we struggle to make sense of how we will see any good or anything redeemable in the darkness that surrounds us.

I know that God’s promises are sure. That he is faithful to fulfill his word even when I struggle to make sense of it. These are unshakable truths. However, this does not negate that sometimes the night feels to last longer that we would like or even feel like we can endure.

The length of the night is not determined by hours. It is measured by the time it takes for us to turn to the source of the light and follow it home. For some of us, the night is longer than others. It can take a long time to believe that it is even possible to feel the joy that the morning promises. Not because it is not there. It’s just that we do not know if that joy will be able to bring an end to the reason for our weeping.

The power of the truth, and specifically the promise of the Gospel of Jesus, is what points us to the morning we long for, even when we can’t see it yet. The deeper the night, the great the joy. This is the mystery of our weeping. And this is the promise of God’s promised joy.

It can be hard to see the end of the night. But, if we can remember that Jesus endured the darkest night, we will see how the Son’s rise provides the foundation for our hope that the sun will rise again over our night as well.

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