Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning

This blog entry meditates on Psalm 30:5

“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.”

When I first read this verse, I was puzzled. What does it mean that weeping will last only for the night? I was puzzled because I’ve been through tough times which had lasted for definitely more than a night. I’ve experienced depression and despair, sometimes for months and some challenges in my life have even gone on for years.

I did some research on the internet about the verse and came across some interesting insights. The first thing is that the verse isn’t to be taken literally. The night represents our bad times, the dark times and the morning represents our good times, the bright days. So when the Psalmist talks about night and day, He isn’t just talking about a literal 12 hour period. He’s talking about our times of blessings and our times of distress.

The interesting thing about day and night is that it is totally natural, the world was designed with night and day as the normal state of things. What this teaches us is that, in the natural state of things, as part of life, we can expect both good times and bad times. Our lives will have both darkness and light. We will receive both blessings and challenges.

The good news that the Psalmist wants to proclaim is that the night isn’t permanent. The Hebrew for the word “remain” is loon, which means “to lodge or stop over”. The word describes a traveller who only lodges at a hotel room, the place isn’t his permanent home, it is just a temporary dwelling place.

A lot of times when we face a problem, we’re tempted to think – oh this will last forever, this will destroy me, this is the end of the line for me. When we think like this during our dark times, we get trapped in fear, depression and despair. But God promises us that our weeping, our suffering, is only going to be temporary. Just as we know for sure that the sun will come out in the morning, so we can be sure that our problem, our painful experience, our suffering is only temporary. When you are in the night, morning will always come. Blessings will always return to relieve your distress, the light will always vanquish the darkness.

The verse can be scary. It tells you that there are things in your life that will make you want to cry, you can’t escape the problems that come from living in a fallen world. But with the bad news comes the comfort of the good news. What makes you weep will be overcome by God’s power. Morning will come and when the good light breaks into your life, you will be filled with joy that comes from the gratitude that you feel for God’s deliverance.

I’ll end with the words of a beautiful song. In the morning we’ll experience:

Light after darkness, gain after loss,
Strength after weakness, crown after cross;
Sweet after bitter, hope after fears,
Home after wandering, praise after tears.
Sheaves after sowing, sun after rain,
Sight after mystery, peace after pain;
Joy after sorrow, calm after blast,
Rest after weariness, sweet rest at last.
Near after distant, gleam after gloom,
Love after loneliness, life after tomb

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