Joy Comes in the Moaning

I begin my Sunday mornings with, well, to be honest, with a cup of tea. THEN I sit down to my journal and a Psalm. Often those Psalms become great fuel for my worship time later at church. It is a blessed time for me.

This past Sunday morning, I read Psalm 6, and was once again struck with the persistence and patience of the saints behind the psalms. Here are verses 6 and 7:

“I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.”

Like many, the Psalmist does not get an answer to his prayers. Every night he pleads, with effort and devotion and deep emotion, but relief does not come. So, what does he do? He repeats the prayer the next night, and the next night, and the next.

Why?

I have had my times of distress and anguish, but I cannot say that I have ever struggled like this, nor do I think I would. I would very soon give up and question the love of God for me. The Psalmist does not stop because, unlike me, he does not base his conviction of the love of God on whether he gets what he asks. He asks because he is persuaded simply of the lovingkindness of his God.

I was both convicted and encouraged by this thought. Convicted because I do lay blame at God’s feet when I do not get the good things I seek. I base my assessment of his love on how quickly he gives me what I want instead of upon the steady assurance (revealed in the cross) that his love for me is secure and enduring.

And encouraged because there is a streak of background discontent in my heart. I am reminded by all of this that that background noise should be silenced once and for all by the certain assurance of God’s disposition to my favor.

With that I was able to go to worship with joy.

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