The Dark Before The Dawn

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

Psalm 30:5 


Watching the news this morning, like most Americans my heart breaks learning that the Coronavirus has as of today infected more than half a million people and claimed more than twenty thousand peoples lives. It’s not difficult to understand how the psalmist could write, “weeping may endure for a night” but admittedly its hard to grasp how “joy comes in the morning” unless you have experienced both and come out on the other side. If any single group of people on this planet could relate, understand, and testify of the truth of tears and joy it was the children of Israel who had come through the Passover and then the forty years in the wilderness which included funerals every single day.      

I think anyone who has ever suffered a great loss can relate to what Jesus disciples were going through the day after Jesus was crucified. Psychologists have categorized grief into five stages that most people experience but not necessarily in the same order or to the same degree. 1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance.  

Being Saturday, the day after the highest number of deaths due to the Coronavirus in a single day in the USA, I found myself trying to imagine what Jesus disciples were experiencing on the Saturday, the day after the events of the last week culminated with the Roman soldiers scourging and crucifying the Son of God.

Jesus knowing their hearts, had already told them that each of the men He had chosen to be with him and who would become His apostles would falter in their faith and ultimately abandon Him. Jesus also knew they each would move past the pain and experience joy once again. Thats good news for sure, but the problem on the Saturday after the Cross was that the disciples had all forgotten Jesus own words. The pain of what they had witnessed and the fear of what they believed would be their own fate became too much to bear and caused them to isolate themselves. Their actions proved their denial that Jesus had told them in advance.

Yes, loved one, God allows His children to experience the darkness before the dawn because He knows its only temporary and in less than 24 hours their lives are about to be transformed in ways they could never even dreamed when they encounter the risen Savior, back from the dead that first Easter morning. To say, “joy comes in the morning” will be an understatement.

Today, due to the coronavirus we are facing in our human understanding an unpredictable and uncertain future, and yet in reality our future could not be more secure. Don’t take my word for it, take Jesus word for it as He reminds us in John 10:28-29, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.” And if that wasn’t enough read what the apostle Paul had to say in Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  

Because of our limited understanding the tears dominate our nights and yet the encouragement of Easter is constantly reminding us that joy is coming in the morning! Easter really does change everything because with Jesus resurrection comes hope, a most certain hope that death doesn’t get the final word, Jesus Christ does! One day in the not so distant future death will be swallowed up in sweet victory forever! Until that day tears will continue to flow in the dark hours of our lives and is why we need to recall God’s promises to our own mind and why we must spread the message of God’s good news to a world in need. Joy comes in the morning for all those who place their hope and trust in God because the best day of each of our lives is still yet to be!

 
“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

John 17:24

I LOVE YOU!  


Michael Osthimer

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