When the Unexpected Happens…

I’ve read Psalm 30 so many times over the past few days just to hear it more clearly.  The Psalmist celebrates his recovery from a grave illness and the miracle of life.  The Psalm is mostly filled with praise, but hints at the sense of pain, loss, and abandonment the Psalmist felt only recently:  “As for me, I said in my prosperity,’I shall never be moved.’….You hid your face; I was dismayed.”  The words cry out to me the feelings that so many of us have felt when things are going fine in life, but then something hits us out of the blue: an accident or a devastating diagnosis.  That feeling of utter disbelief:  “This can’t really be happening to me.”

Then the Psalmist tells of the bargain he made with God. Of all the possible bargaining chips we have as humans, the Psalmist simply tells God:  “If you save my life, I will sing your praises and tell of your faithfulness.”  It’s a beautiful reality that the Psalmist’s words of praise became immortalized in this Psalm and have given comfort and encouragement to generations upon generations.  When earth shattering events happen and turn out ok, there’s a tendency to ask, “What now?”  The Psalm tells us:  simply remember to sing praise, give thanks, and tell those in your life of God’s faithfulness to you.

And I can’t read this passage without thinking of a sermon I heard by a fired up Presbyterian minister from Scotland. His message was that the joy that comes in the morning, after the long night of weeping, is no ordinary joy, but RESURRECTION JOY!  CHRISTMAS MORNING JOY!  JUMPING AND DANCING FOR JOY!  Perhaps, it’s the discovery, or knowing in a new sort of way, that life is a most glorious gift!


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