Beyond the Storm: Joy in the Morning

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Weeping may tarry for the night, But joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5 ASV)

I'm counting the days when I get to meet our new baby daughter. In fact, I have been here at the medical facility for a few days now, where mothers are given quality pre-natal care, give birth, and are cared for together with the baby after the birth. Makes one feel like a queen. And it's all for free! I have done nothing (that means no cooking and cleaning), but get all checked, rested and fed. 

Oh, how this pregnancy journey has been different from all previous ones that I had (well, I already had three aside from this). That's why I can totally agree with Patsy Clairmont's  book title "Normal is just a Setting on Your Dryer". We want to make sense out of the things that we don't understand and try to sum them up as normal. But when things don't go as we expect, we experience lots of anxiety and get all hung up that things are not normal, that we are not normal. But if we look at all these as God's special and creative way to brighten up our world and our lives, then we get to accept 'the different' more readily and enthusiastically.

Well, it is only now on my almost 37th week of pregnancy that I get to know that all is well with my baby and me. For the past 8 months, I was just hoping and praying that all is well. Now it has been confirmed. And we are now on our way to mentally and physically prepare for the labor and, ultimately, the delivery. Then, joy. Yes, my bundle of joy is coming!

I'm lying here in the darkness with my (no sim/no service) phone in hand typing out these words (it's still a few minutes before 5:00 a.m.), while my roommate is slumbering peacefully on the other hospital bed like a baby with her own baby in her belly. I was like her a few minutes ago, but my baby seems to be having a party in there and the party's kickin'! My ribs are sore and so are my hips. She seems to be in all directions and is making shapes out of my poor round belly. It feels good to feel her move in there knowing that all is well with her. I can't say that before.

This baby and I have been through a lot together. We dreaded the Haiyan storm, prayed through it and have grieved through the darkness of not knowing. We have looked up to our Savior and have tried to keep our eyes on Him, knowing He was our ONLY hope. We rejoiced in the tidbits of good news and received our loved ones in our arms. We went through mourning of what we had, what we were, what we have been and could have been. Tears splashed from our eyes like waterfalls that didn't seem to stop and did not know how to stop.  Our hearts have been broken, and not knowing what to do with the broken pieces, we have brought them all to the Heart Mender and He has gently put them back in place, more beautifully. 

Yes, we still shed a tear or two. It's nature's way of washing antiseptic on the wound and God's reason to hold us close and get us to feel His constant presence. We have never been alone. My baby and I. Someone has been with us all through the pain, uncertainties and sorrow. He has been our constant companion and Comforter. We have mourned but He has also blessed us. "Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted" (Matthew 5:4).

And though I'm still counting, I can feel the slow ebb of joy that cannot be stopped, just as those tears were. It's slowly coming, rolling over me and I know for a fact that joy, JOY does come in the morning, after the night of mourning is over. 

It doesn't mean I won't shed a tear again or get my heart broken. It means, I can experience joy amidst the struggles and expect joy to be at just the next bend. 

This joy doesn't come from any external source like money, superficial happiness or pleasure, nor from family or friends, but from knowing someone is holding my hand and I know WHO it is. If it's your husband or a friend or a family member, or even the feeling of security that you get from having financial stability, you may get disappointed. They don't have the strength of character that never changes, nor do they know you that much, nor do they have that huge, unselfish love that covers all and looks beyond faults and weaknesses, nor do they have the stamina to get you through the big waves of life and pull you up when you crash. Only ONE can do that and is so willing to do all that for you. 

God did. I have proven Him. I can trust Him. He never fails.

When the waves of life come crashing, we get overwhelmed. But the secret of staying on top of those waves is to fix our eyes above them--- on Jesus.

Remember Peter? (Read Matthew 14:22-33.) He was with the other disciples in a boat one night. The wind was blowing strong. Jesus came to them walking on water. They were frightened thinking He was a ghost. When Jesus spoke and they heard His gentle voice, all fears were assuaged. And Peter boldly asked to take part in that great experience--- to walk on water, walk over the waves with Jesus. And Jesus bid him, "Come." Yes, over those turbulent waves. 

See, how bold we can be when Jesus is there? See, how we can even cruise over life's turbulent waves? Yes, we can. With Jesus. 

Peter walked on water. On top of the waves. Then feeling more confident on his own two feet, he took his eyes from the Miracle Worker for awhile and saw the waves. He saw how big, dark and overwhelming they were. He was overcome. (When I told this story to my daughter, Angelika, she said sadly, "Peter lost his faith." And she was right.) He started to sink. Water was getting over him and taking over. I like it though that he naturally called on Jesus for help. Jesus stretched out His hand, caught Peter's hand and pulled him out of the waters.

Can you see yourself in the picture? I sure can. As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, I can cruise through life's waves and storms. But then, silly me, I'd get confident on my own, see the waves, and be so overcome by my fears that I can't see Jesus any more. But when I cry out for help, for Him, He takes my hand and gets me out of my sinking predicament. This, is the story of my  life. I'm sure of many, too. There's nothing truer than this. Only when we keep Him ever before us can we experience joy. Take our eyes off Him even for a moment and we start drowning with all our cares, problems and sorrows. But if we stay our eyes on Him, joy stays with us as we walk over the big, dark waves of health, money, family, job, or relationship problems that life may bring our way. And joy keeps us going. Joy holds our hand. For joy is knowing WHO holds your hand--- and that is, Jesus. Jesus gives us joy when we mourn and after the mourning. For joy is always with us... 'Til the morning comes.

Wherever you are in this journey of life, whether you are going through the night of tears or mourning over losses (be it health, loved ones, work, financial or material things, marriage, friendship or any kind of relationship, or dreams), know that joy comes. It comes through Him who can walk on water and bid you to walk with Him. Come, walk with Him over your own boisterous waves. Find the joy, the adventure of walking with Him. He is there right beside you. Immanuel. And before you know it, the morning has dawned.

Yes, the morning is here! And so will be my 'bundle of joy' (maybe not today but soon). Joy is splashing over me. My Lord has seen my lot and has not passed me by. Joy stays. I hope it flows out to you, too!




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