Tag Archives: mourning

Lent Day #25 | Mourning

In Psalm 30 we find one of the most raw and transparent reflections David ever penned. In it we see him praising God for his faithfulness in both discipline and in blessing. For David, the relationship he valued with God contained the possibility of both sides of the spectrum of love. God’s love includes both of these realities. As a matter of fact, I believe David would argue they are necessary if we are to claim fellowship with God as a father.

Let’s take just a moment and go through the Psalm.

1 I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2 O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3 O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. 4 Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. 6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. 7 Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. 8 I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication. 9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? 10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper. 11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. (KJV)

What I find interesting is how David accepts as a given the reality of suffering in the human experience. It seems David was not thrown off by the fact of suffering and what it produces–mourning. Mourning is the sorrow we feel as we come to grips with the reality of our situation. As we process what has happened and we move into life with a different set of assumptions than we had before. Life after divorce, betrayal, death, depression. Life in the new normal.

Dancing into Morning, Psalm 30

As I read these words this morning I was struck by another assumption by the psalmist. This mourning we all must walk through is temporary. It is not supposed to last forever. Not because the pain has gone away, mind you. Rather, the reason it does not last is due to God’s ability to take what we have lost or has been taken from us and turn it for our good (Romans 8:28). Not all the events of our lives are good, but God can turn them toward good. He takes the tattered remains of our brokenness and reorganizes and reestablishes and recreates so we are no longer what we used to be.

David gives us insight into the nature of hope through our mourning not in spite of it. The shepherd-king is so sure of God’s transforming and redeeming promise he says, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” It don’t know about you, but I desire for this to be how I live out my fellowship with God. When God leads in the dance called life, where we begin and where we end will seem like a dream that has come true.

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Google Reader Round-up | December 15, 2012

Several months ago I started the idea of putting together a list of links that I found interesting through out each week. I am going to take it up again.

In this weeks Round-up:

In light of the tragedy in Newtown, CT, here are some responses from pastors, theologians and other public Christians that I have come across.

I do not endorse all of the views of these authors. I submit them as helpful responses to the tragic and dastardly acts committed yesterday.

From John Piper
Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church

From Justin Holcomb
Executive Director, The Resurgence

From Al Mohler
President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

From Jen Wilkin
Contributor, The Gospel Coalition

From Ben Godson
Blogger, Covered in the Master’s Dust

From “The Jungle Missionary”
Blogger, Defending/Contending.com

From Victor Scott
Blogger, The Reformed Wesleyan

UPDATED: December 15, 2012, 1:06 pm

From Russell Moore
Dean of the School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Senior Vice President for Academic Administration, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Remembering James Bailey Bodrey | “Too Short A Life”

James Bailey Bodrey

April 1, 1994 – October 20, 2012

I found out about James’ accident this morning as I was getting ready for a meeting. I was shocked by the news that his accident required him being taken to Macon. In the span of a couple of hours the news was not getting better. The sinking feeling in my stomach increased as word began to spread. By mid-afternoon, the worst outcome from this entire ordeal was realized. James had died, and part of all of the hearts of those of us who cared for him felt as if it had died too.

There are so many emotions that come over you when someone you know dies. But, those emotions are intensified and are even worse when that person is younger than you are. My first reaction to the news was anger. I was angry that another young man had died before the prime of his life. I was angry because it just did not seem fair that James died. I was angry at all the crazy things that would be said in an attempt to make the family “feel better.” There is no feeling better about this. This event, these moments are horrible and none of us wants to even think about them for another second!

But, as the day went on I became angry at myself. I realized that I made the mistake (once again) that I promised I would never make. I was angry because of all those moments and days that I had taken for granted. Life is far too short to allow ourselves to drift through it. I was upset about all of this, but then something else struck me. What struck me was all the young men and women at James’ alma mater, Crisp Academy, who knew and loved him. I thought of them and to them I direct these next words.

———————————————–

Dear Crisp Academy Student,

I do not pretend to know how you are feeling. For many of you, the shock of this will take some time to think through. My prayer is that as you think about James and his life, that you would also take a look at your own life. And think about never taking any day for granted again.

How do you take a day for granted? When you complain about what you would rather be doing, instead of enjoying what you are doing (even when it’s homework or sitting in a classroom). When you are wondering about what somebody else said and then waste all that time worrying and plotting. You will never get that time back, and it was spent on something that will not make your life better. When you are so preoccupied with what is coming next in life that you will completely miss what is happening now. These are all ways that we take the gift of each day for granted.

Every time someone younger than me dies I am reminded that life is a precious gift. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Every morning is an opportunity to give thanks to God for opening our eyes. I want to remind you, in spite of your young age, to remember that each minute of life is given to us to enjoy. Don’t waste another day doing anything that you will regret.

My memories of James come from going to Crisp Academy every Wednesday and seeing him walk into the lunchroom with that goofy grin on his face and those bigger than life ears sticking out from the side of his head. I can hear him cutting up and talking trash about some rival team or the “other school in the county.” I remember him enjoying being who he was. He didn’t really try to pretend to be someone else. That is what I will remember.

Take care of yourself, strive to truly live everyday, enjoy every moment and may God bless you.

Victor Scott
Youth Pastor
Cordele First UMC

Google Reader Round-up | August 18, 2012

In this weeks round-up:

Same-Sex Marriage Won’t Be Enough — An interesting article that reveals why the debate regarding same-sex marriage is about more than just marriage. It’s actually about redefining (read destroying) marriage as an institution. The author writes, “Marriage can’t be separated from biological realities. And that’s why this upheaval won’t end when same-sex marriage is accepted.” A must read.

Join or Die?: Addressing the Question of Church Membership — The age old question regarding the necessity of church membership has remained a lively point of conversation. In this article a strong and well articulated case is made that being connected to a local church is a necessary reality for every believer.

The difference between attending and joining a church is analogous to the difference between dating and marriage. The Bible clearly steers us toward the latter.

Celebrating Alone — R. C. Sproul, Jr. speaks of his first anniversery after the death of his wife to cancer. This is a beautiful testimony of what God plans for each of us to experience in matrimony. I am sad for his loss, but rejoice with him in his wife’s eternal gain.

Truth, Grace and My Father’s Conversion at age 84 — Randy Alcorn recounts the details that lead up the eventual conversion of his father. It is a touching tribute to Randy’s love for his father and of God’s grace in redemption.

Naked Pastor