Mourning into Dancing
This trust psalm recognizes that it is not God who causes our calamity – we do it to ourselves. “I shall never be moved,” boasts the psalmist, and that arrogance led to a downfall. Thankfully, despite our faithlessness to God, God continues to be faithful to us. God has the power to turn sorrow into joy.
In the spring of 2010, a young woman named Melissa Hinnant discovered that the baby she’d carried for 5 months would not survive. She was rushed to the hospital and put on emergency bedrest to delay the delivery. Stuck in bed, Melissa decided to crochet a baby blanket for her unborn daughter. Two weeks into her bedrest, her labor could not be stopped and she delivered her baby girl. Baby Halle didn’t survive the birth.
Melissa’s love of crochet carried her through her darkest times, and in 2011 she started making boot socks. They became instantly popular and she started selling them online. What started as a tragedy quickly turned into a miracle, as proceeds from her “accidental company,” Grace and Lace have built 2 orphanages in India. (For more information on her story, go to GraceAndLace.com.)
Melissa and her husband Rick are examples of how God can transform our darkest times into blessings for others. They eagerly credit God for bringing them up out of the pit and restoring their souls to praise.
“I shall never be moved,” writes the psalmist. The reality is all of us will be moved – shaken to the core – at some point. In this psalm are hope and a promise that one day God can restore us to joy. Whether our miracle is orphanages in India or simply a morning when we wake up and don’t immediately experience the pinch of sorrow, God certainly has the power to turn mourning into dancing.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 30
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,
and did 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 brought up my soul from Sheol,
restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favour is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
‘I shall never be moved.’
By your favour, O Lord,
you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cried,
and to the Lord I made supplication:
‘What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
O Lord, be my helper!’
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you for ever.