Read Psalm 30
In World War Two, some time between D-Day in June 1944 and VE Day in May 1945, people started to know that victory was on the horizon. The far horizon – barely palpable; nobody had May ’45 in their diaries as the end point. And there was suffering, heartbreak and tragedy still in between them and the horizon. But people began to see that one day, they would be dancing in the streets. I wonder if they pictured it; imagined it whilst they were still holed up and under siege?
Jonathan Golder sent me this text yesterday: ‘What has been getting me through the last couple of days is visualising our first service all back together, and the celebration and rejoicing.’ We don’t know when that’s going to be – how many weeks, how many months. But when I read his words, they lifted me. Lifted me to a place above today, a big picture place where I could see, down the line – there is singing, and smiling, and cake, and tears of joy and great embraces, and songs to our God sung louder than we’ve ever mustered.
In Psalm 30, the Psalmist celebrates God lifting him from the pit, healing him, keeping him safe from his enemies. It’s a Psalm that tells the story of what we’re going through. We start off feeling secure, thinking nothing will shake us (v.7). But when we’re thrown from security, we head right down to dismay and begging for mercy (vv.7,8,10). We start protesting to God at the uselessness of us being thrown down into the deathly pit (v.9). But that’s not the end for us. That’s not the end of our experience of our faith journey in this either.
‘Sing to the Lord, you saints of His; praise His holy name. For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.’
It’s nighttime now, and it’s okay to feel like v.9. But ahead of us, joy will come in the morning. And the dancing and heart-song of vv.11-12 that will one day come, are going to last way longer than the night.
Father God, we find ourselves in the night-time. We don’t know how long it’s going to last – but you do. You have something we don’t – a view of when the party starts. Father God, would you give us a glimpse of the celebrations ahead of us? To spur us on and keep us going? Hold our hands through the numbness of the pit, even if we feel so numb that we can’t feel your hand anymore. Hold us anyway, and walk us through it, Father, however long it takes. Hold us God, and lift our heads to see the far horizon.