“I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”
Psalm 30:1-5, 11-12
The psalmist says our weeping remains for a night but that JOY will come in the morning. In the midst of long term suffering, this phrase stating this lasts “a night” is almost insulting. No matter if your suffering is lasting for months or years, it seems never-ending. Sometimes when people talk about my infertility as a season, my heart screams “You’re wrong! I feel like I’ll always be suffering, I’ll always be sad, nothing will ever work out for me.”
And although that’s how it feels, the truth really is what the psalmist tells us. Even if our weeping remains our whole life – – we still have the GREATEST JOY to look forward to in spending eternity with Jesus! But fortunately, because of the great grace and mercy of our Lord alone, He gives us joy in the here and now. He often lifts us out of the pit of despair and puts an end to our suffering! But even when He doesn’t – even in the midst of treacherous tribulation, Jesus can give us joy.
This joy is different than the fleeting happiness that we often think of. This joy is the ever lasting, deep rooted confidence that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as our Savior. He is our firm foundation, He places our feet on solid ground. Our sorrows need not rob us of this joy. Even through our tears, we can rejoice in the God of the Universe who loves us so much that He gave up His only son.
Throughout suffering, we are sanctified. We fight sin. There may be something that happens which would have completely devastated us 6 months ago, but now we can bear it. Rejoice. We may be able to say with reckless abandon “God is good” when 2 years ago it was so hard for us to believe we could barely whisper it. Rejoice. We may find hope and excitement in our hearts, a far cry from the gloom and misery we can habitually fall into. Rejoice. Through the darkness of infertility, the loneliness of missing out on the family we so desire, sometimes the Giver of all Good Gifts blesses us with that family. Rejoice!!
Rejoice with your friend regularly. It’s natural to rejoice when your friend finally gets pregnant or brings an adopted child home! But I beg you all the more, to rejoice with them at the small victories. Rejoice that this last failed cycle didn’t lead to a week of depression. Rejoice that her heart has changed and she is leaning towards adoption, instead of begrudgingly becoming child free. Rejoice that your friend’s marriage is being strengthened through this trial.
You may often need to be the one that brings these victories to the forefront of her mind. Help her claim truth, claim these victories. And yes, if the grace of God one day draws her out of the valley where sin and despair threaten her soul, and brings her children, REJOICE! Weep tears OF JOY with her! Praise God with loud shouts and celebration!!
“Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.”
Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.”
-Photo Credit: Nick Galifianakis for The Washington Post