From Wailing to Worship

You turned my wailing into dancing; you . . . clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11

Life has been nothing like I expected it to be - can you relate? Now in many ways that’s been a good thing - a very good thing! - but some things - in my case, chronic pain - are impossible to ignore or diminish. If the past eight years have had countless ups and downs, highs and lows, times when I feel incredibly blessed and times when I feel overwhelmed and crushed. In comparison to the first six years, the past 2 years I’ve experienced a long season where the pain has been greatly diminished, to the point where some days it’s been almost invisible. However, the past month or so my pain levels have suddenly spiked, especially at night - it’s hard to not let fear take over, and let the worry of what might be coming strip away the many joys and blessings God god has granted each and every day.

I’m sure all of us can stop to reflect on our life’s journey and see along that path joy and sorrow, gain and loss, blessing and suffering. Hopefully we can also see that through some of the sorrow, loss, and suffering we came to experience joy and the Lord’s blessing. I wouldn’t be working here at KCWN if it weren’t for chronic pain. I long for healing from physical pain, but I’m also thankful for how God has used this pain to put me here at the radio station. In a strange way the pain makes those moments of joy with my wife and kids, and here a the radio station, even more special and treasured. God has also used chronic pain to teach me perseverance; another unexpected blessing.

My devotional this morning comes from Our Daily Bread and is titled “From Wailing to Worship.” The author shares the story of Kim, a woman battling breast cancer. My mom just finished round #2 of breast cancer, so her story really rang true - especially this statement:

Though some days are still hard, God continues to transform her heart-wrenching suffering into a beautiful testimony of hope-filled praise as she encourages others.

That is definitely my mom! No matter what her circumstances, she is always on her knees in hopeful prayer, and always pointing herself - and others - to Jesus, even in the midst of something scary like the return of cancer.

I loved this statement as well from the devotional:

Even when we’re in dire circumstances, God can turn our wailing into dancing. Though His healing won’t always look or feel like we’d hoped or expected, we can be confident in God’s ways (Psalm 30:1–3).

I think that second part is especially key - we can still put our trust in God, even when his idea of healing isn’t the same as ours. As Joni Eareckson Tada says, God is often interested in a deeper healing that goes beyond taking away our earthly problems. Sometimes his blessings come to us through those times of heartache and despair.

As our station manager Bev has said often, on any given day someone listening to KCWN is having the best day of their lives, and someone else is having the worst day of their lives. That’s just the reality of our existence this side of heaven. Unlike the world, we have a priceless treasure in Jesus; only he …”can transform wails of despair into vibrant joy that doesn’t depend on circumstances." If you’re in the midst of a difficult trial today, don’t give up hope; you have a God who can turn your wailing into worship!