Good times; bad times; God times (and the dreaded semicolon……)
(A reflection on Psalm 30:6-12)
There will be “good times”. David had them — I have them — you have them.
v.6-7 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” By Your favor, O Lord, You made my mountain stand strong;
David knew good times. David HAD good times. This particular psalm was sung at the dedication of the Temple!! But then we hit the dreaded semicolon of life — those little markers of punctuation that are used to “connect” independent clauses. We might think we should use a “period”, as if one season ended and we’re now in a totally different season, but my Bible uses a semicolon, denoting a closer relationship between the two thoughts than I would like! But semicolon it is — and thus we feel how CONNECTED these two are… the good right along side of the bad!
v.7 …..You made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face; I was dismayed.
Life can be this way. One minute we’re standing strong — the next we feel as if God has hidden His face. And there we sit in the realm of “dismay”…. which by definition is that place of despair in the face of obstacles. It is fear resulting from the awareness of a perceived or literal danger.
Good times; bad times. But we don’t have to be left amidst our dismay! Why? Because of GOD TIMES!! We see David move there in v.8…..to You, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy;
In v.9 David asks God, “what profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it tell of Your faithfulness? v.10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!”
Good times; bad times; God times!
David has taken us on his mental recall of each:
- his good times (when he was prospering, unmoved, standing strong like a mountain)!
And then he recalls:
- the bad times when he felt as though God had hidden His face.
And then —
- his GOD times, when he turned to God, crying out for His mercy and help.
And THEN…….. wait for it!!!! There’s v.11!!! Ahhh, the verse we all long for! I wonder how much time elapsed between v.10 and v.11? Verse 11 is the glorious “YOU TURNED” verse!
v. 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.
I don’t know how long David struggled before feeling the impact of his “God time”, before feeling loosed and set free. I tend to think that his dancing and gladness came from merely knowing God heard Him and knowing that he could trust His mercy and help, whatever form that took. Because even up until David’s death, he continued to deal with various enemies — “bad times” never really leave us in this lifetime.
But David continued to sing….
v.12 …… that my glory may sing Your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever!
Good times; bad times; God times! Oh that I land quickly into my time with You, Lord! Oh that I hear the music and dance anyway…. even though my circumstance has not yet turned. Let the noteworthy “turning” be me turning to You! And thus there WILL BE dancing!