Clothed me with Joy (May 22, 2013)

…Opening To…

We limit not the truth of God to our poor reach of mind,
To notions of our day and place, crude, partial, and confined;
No, let a new and better hope within our hearts be stirred;
The Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from his word. (George Rawson)

…Listening In…

You have turned my wailing into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. (Psalm 30:12; context)

…Filling Up…

This seventh verse from my old guitar case has long been my favorite verse in the entire Psalter (that’s the fancy word for the book of Psalms). I have no idea how it came to my attention, but I’m glad it did because every once in a while it pops into my head and I sing it to myself for hours.

I just love how the psalmist uses the language to show the 180-degree turn that has happened because God showed up (or more likely because the psalmist realized that God was there all along). Earlier in the psalm, the writer says, “Weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning.” This nightlong weeping turns into dancing when the psalmist notices what God is doing in his or her life.

Likewise, the psalmist lets God remove the sackcloth – that is, the garment of mourning – and figuratively clothe the writer with joy. Think about that. What does it mean to be “clothed with joy?” We wear clothes on the outside of our bodies. They are often the first things people notice about us. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the first thing others saw when they look at us is joy. What a first impression. This is the gift that God promises the psalmist in Psalm 30—that even though there is cause to weep, there is also cause to find great joy. And not only to find joy, but to wear it on your skin for all to see.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the source of my joy and the grace behind my dance. Help me to wear that joy outwardly so that others can see and feel it and find joy themselves. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, grateful for the opportunity to reflect on your word and looking forward to discovering its impact on my life.

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