The psalmist we meet in this passage has known a life of trouble. Although we don’t know the specifics, we can imagine that tears have fallen, the air has felt thick with sadness, and days have come and gone where life didn’t feel worth living. Where is the spring of new life—of hope and comfort?
But, in dramatic fashion, we read that the season has changed. Something new has transpired. Hope is born anew. The psalmist can’t help but shout for joy to any who will listen. Everyone must know the good news. God is to be praised. No more sackcloth is needed. Cue the “Hallelujah” chorus being sung in the background.
We might wonder how such a spiritual movement transpires. It is no small thing to have your mourning turned into dancing or to go from crying a bed of tears to leaping forth in the morning ready to take on the new day. It is no small thing to thank God from our internal wells of the deepest gratitude. The psalmist finds joy in waiting on the Lord. For the psalmist, waiting means telling the Lord exactly how he feels and relying on God’s ability to be in control of his life. Waiting on the Lord means seeking instructions for how to move forward according to God’s plans.
While we may want to try to fix our own circumstances in times of personal crisis, Psalm 30 invites us to wait on the Lord, to wait for answers to our prayers in God’s time. We can wait with the belief that something beautiful comes in the silent times, the lonely times, and the hopeless times. Most of all, God is worthy of our praise as we wait.
God, though I may not always see your plans at work in my life, help me to trust you, to listen for you, and to praise you as I wait. Amen.
The readings from the Hebrew scriptures describe what can happen when our own strength fails us. Naaman is a great military commander from Syria, but he has no power to heal himself. The psalmist, traditionally David, has become too comfortable in his prosperity. Both men must humble themselves before they can experience healing and restoration from God. How often do we let our pride stand in the way of our healing? Paul admonishes his readers to carry themselves with humility and to build up one another. What they do will always come back to them; what we sow, we reap. The story in Luke warns against being proud even of the gifts that God gives us. Our greatest joy is not that we can do things for God but that God already has accepted us.
Read 2 Kings 5:1-14. When have God’s instructions been more involved than you expected? How did you respond?
Read Psalm 30. How can you continue to praise God during the dark, lonely, and hopeless times?
Read Galatians 6:1-16. When has your faith community struggled with members’ lack of humility? How did you resolve the situation so that you could welcome and nurture new Christians?
Read Luke 10:1-11, 16-20. When have you misconstrued God’s accomplishments as your own successes? How did you refocus your life or ministry on serving God?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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