Morning Is Coming

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When we buried my father in September 1991, a light rain was falling. One of the ladies standing by the graveside remarked: "Heaven is crying with you, Lynda."

At the time, and three months later when my mother passed away, we thought we'd never get past the weeping stage. In a sense we never have, though with time, the tears are less frequent and intense than they were twenty-five years ago. They are different.

Today they are softened by a certainty that had a hard time making its presence felt back then in the midst of the sharp edges of loss.

Psalm 30:5 says: "...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."

In 1893, James Black wrote the words to When the Roll is Called Up Yonder. I will never forget the less the complimentary comments of one of my Seminary professors who criticized the song because the eschatology didn't match his. But nevertheless, it came to mind as I was thinking of the verse from Psalm 30. The end of weeping and the enduring presence of joy is associated with that "bright and cloudless morning" of eternity:

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there...

On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there...

Loss, whatever form it might take, inevitably ends up in some kind of sadness. If the loss is small the level of sadness adjusts accordingly. If the loss is great, the sadness will be also.

But for the believer, there is a "morning" coming. The pain of loss usually lessens over time, but someday it will be completely and forever gone. It's not just that joy will be fully restored because we will be reunited with those we love who, as believers in Jesus, went on before us. The greatest joy will be because, as Jesus told His disciples: "...rejoice that your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). The joy is all about our relationship with Jesus.

The disciples had been all excited because of their successful mission trip and all the wonderful things that had happened while they were doing ministry in the name of Jesus. But the Lord reminded them that the greater joy was not in this temporary life journey, but in that eternal destination.

In the middle of the night, remember that morning is coming.


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