Friday, February 22, 2013

Meditations on the Good News: Joy Comes With the Morning

I’ll be posting excerpts from Meditations on the Good News over the next few weeks. This section feels particularly appropriate to me as we enter the Lenten season.

I hope you like it. There is a special offer at the end of this post for those interested in reading the whole book. 

Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5

There are times in everyone’s life when our sorrow is so deep that it seems like we will never be happy again. A loved one has died, a child or a lover is seriously ill, a dear friend moves away, a child leaves home, someone tells us that they no longer want to be in a relationship with us. We may actually feel sensations of grief, deep in our chest, that our heart is breaking. At the beginning we may be wracked, sobbing great tears, crying from a place so deep inside us that just moments prior we didn’t even know existed. A little later, little reminders of that person cause us to break into tears at unexpected moments.

You may be feeling that way now. Surely most of us have had this experience by our mid- to late twenties, some of us much earlier. When we love, truly love, other people — children, friends, family members, partners — when they leave us, whether through moving or death or just moving on, our hearts break.

Yet, Psalm 30 teaches that God can turn “mourning into dancing” (Ps. 30:11) and that “joy comes with the morning” (Ps. 30:5). This is no hollow platitude, a “you’ll get over it” as too many parents counsel their teens getting over first love. It is instead God’s promise. Joy will return.

Why? The passage reminds us that our sorrow is so deep precisely because we have allowed ourselves the vulnerability, the intimacy of truly loving another. We would not hurt so much if we hadn’t loved so much. And the experience of that lost love affirms that we have the capacity to love again.

If you are feeling deep sorrow now, be with it. Don’t wish it away, don’t hurry your grief. Cry, talk about it, allow yourself to be overwhelmed. Look at photos, collect your memories. Sit with your loss.

If you are a friend of someone who is mourning, just be with him or her. You don’t have to “do” anything. Sit together. Listen. Be present. You only need to say, “I’m sorry” and mean it.

Remind yourself that happiness can and will return. Some of us may need medical or psychological help to get through these periods; all of us will need time.

Even in your grief, try to do one little thing that pleases you today. Breathe in a flower. Drink a good cup of coffee. Stretch your body. Go for a walk. Allow yourself a few moments to remember that life is good. Joy will come again.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Meditations on the Good News. Please feel free to forward it to anyone you think may be blessed to read it.

Special Offer: For a limited time, you can get a signed copy of Meditations on the Good News for just $12, shipping and handling included. If you like, I will personalize your copy to you. Click here to order your copy.

For those of you who have read and enjoyed Meditations on the Good News, please consider leaving a review on its Amazon page.

Thank you!

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