Psalm 30:5 – 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.
I know it’s been a while since I have reflected. You would think that things calmed down since Easter Sunday but it has been a tremendous ride since then. It has been a roller coaster of sorts, but a ride nonetheless. Today’s message is about seeing the joy that comes in the morning.
A lot has happened over the past month. My emotions have run the gamut and so have the spurts of joy. I have had experiences and wishes granted over the past couple of weeks that have brought pure joy in the midst of the challenges and I want to share them with you today, most importantly, to say thank you to God for the joy that comes in the morning at just the right moments:
- having the honor of being asked to dedicate two precious babies
- having the humbled pride of seeing two of my youth accept Christ and ask me to baptize them
- watching the Duke Blue Devils win a hard fought NCAA championship. I can’t even explain how that has helped my heart.
- spending time with a strong and inspirational young man, winning the battle of his life, for a second time
- spending time with a couple who introduced me to seminary and believed in my call to ministry. They are fighting their own battle too – showing me what strength, courage and faith in God is all about. They have God spunk.
- spending two glorious days in New York City
- spending one of those mornings at the World Trade Center site and talking to the NY firefighters
- going to see the Broadway Musical WICKED and finding out just how much I have in common with Elphaba and wishing I could be with her now. There is a sermon in there for sure!
- being able to meet Paul Wylie, 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist in men’s figure skating. He is a fellow Christian and it was a definite God moment to be able to talk with him and say thank you. (now if I can only get to Coach K)
- cheering for the runners in the Boston Marathon for 4 straight hours and having them thank me for being there for them. That is so strange to me. They gave me hope but they thanked me.
- finding out the people who cheer loudest for you in the midst of your own heartbreak hill
Outside of the last one, I think I was most touched by the marathon participants. These runners, many doing it for the first time, were meeting me at mile 19 and about to endure “Heartbreak Hill”. I spent time watching them sweat, grimace in pain, limp, and giving a lesson in endurance. I was screaming “hang in there…you’re almost done…not much longer…..don’t give up….keep going….you’ve got this!” I received a thumbs up, a thank you, a nod, a wave and a cheer. But it was the action of one man that made me cry. He stopped in front of me to gather himself and stretch. As he bent down, he looked at me and said, “thank you for being here and cheering us on. i really needed that right now.” He thanked me? He thanked me when I should have been thanking him.
These God moments made me speechless, undeserving of such grace and joy. This is a list of pure moments of joy that is a reminder of where God is in the midst of my day. Wishes that I didn’t even know I had, were answered.
Speaking of the marathon, we are all in a race, running towards a goal that is greater than any we can achieve alone. Sometimes the days are harder than we imagine but God brings these mornings of joy that make it all worth the pain, the struggle, the shinsplints, the muscle spasms, sunburn, headaches, and hills that we face. God answers the wishes in your heart in ways you never imagine and gives you a bit of joy to make it through to the finish line. Thank you God for those moments. Thank you God for cheering on the sidelines and believing in me enough to say, “hang in there” because I really needed that.