We Americans like instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now! Our famous innovative spirit has done us in. We have fast food, instant viewing, online banking, and self-checkout. We have so many time-saving devices that we have lost the art of patiently waiting for our rewards.
That is, until sorrow comes. American ingenuity has yet to invent a device that ends grief quickly, and it never will. For this reason, many of us struggle with grief. We don’t give it enough time. We want it to be over quickly.
Customarily the ancient Jews would mourn the death of a loved one for seven days (Num. 19:19; 1 Sam. 31:13). On certain occasions it was even extended to thirty days (Num. 20:29; Deut. 21:13; 34:8). These days, we try to have the funeral within a few days of the death and then move on. But regardless of our efforts to expedite the grieving process, sorrow marches at its own slow pace.
Psalm 30 seems to follow a period of illness in David’s life. David says, “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” (vv. 2-3). Somehow God brought David through his ordeal. Now on the other side of it, David has some perspective. He says, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (v. 5).
Sorrow and pain may try us and plague us far longer than we thought possible, but sorrow doesn’t last forever. For the believer, trials are temporary, and they are not to be compared with the glory that awaits us (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17).
This does not mean you will go back to the way you were before you experienced your ordeal. The Lord allows us to suffer for our discipline (Heb. 12:5-11). Discipline is meant to correct you. When it is done right, discipline molds a child so that he behaves well. The discipline of the Lord adds steadfastness and faith to our character (Jas. 1:2-3). So don’t expect to emerge from your trials the same as you were before. You won’t be the same. But through faith you can be better.
We must also understand that for all of us, one day we’ll face a trial from which we will not recover, at least not on this side of eternity. Death is “the way of all the earth” (1 Kings. 2:2). Yet there is rejoicing even after death. Speaking of this, Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Phil. 1:21-23).
If you’re going through a difficult time right now, know that morning is on the horizon. It may be difficult to endure, but it’s worth it because joy comes with the morning. You can’t see it now any more than you can catch a glimmer of the sun while it is below the horizon. Time may move slowly, but have faith. Better things will come.