Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Changing Clothes

You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever. Psalm 30: 11-12 NRSV

Yesterday we emphasized that our thankfulness should not be dependent on our good mood. Today, we are looking at being thankful for when God gives us joy.

The part that I see as important in these verses is that it is God, not other people nor life circumstances that create joy in our hearts. Friends that have gone through grief have often been told that time is the great healer. But this psalm indicates that it is God, not time, that will truly heal our sadness.

The psalmist also admits that mourning can prevent us from being thankful, especially in a public way. In fact, I would imagine most of us would be shocked if a family member of the deceased came in praising God loudly in song. Even if they were thankful for the loved one's life, society dictates that they should only be quietly thankful.

The imagery of exchanging sackcloth - also an indication of sorrow over sins committed - for the clothing of joy is a wonderful one. In fact, realizing that it is God who has undressed and redressed you makes the feelings quite personal as well as recognizes God's power and control.

May we depend even more on God when feelings of remorse, grief and sadness threaten to overwhelm us to the point we are unable to give thanks.

God, clothe us with your joy. Then we will not be silent with our thanks one moment longer. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Name one thing you are thankful for in this moment.

Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims

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