Joy and Sadness
Is it possible to have both Joy and Sadness at the same time? Absolutely! In Ezra 3:11-13, the foundation of the second Temple in Jerusalem was built after a long captivity in Babylon. The congregation was filled with both old and young. The seniors in the group wept because the size of the second temple was going to be much smaller than the first. They felt like it was a step backwards. For the younger group they rejoiced and celebrated because they were born in captivity and had never seen the first temple. So, they experienced Joy and Sadness at the same time because they had a different perspective. The prophet Haggai promised that the second temple would have greater glory than the first (Haggai 2:6). The people in Ezra 3 struggled to see how God would accomplish this feat.
As I write today I can both rejoice and mourn. As I do both, I pray that God would change my perspective and allow me to see our world, our circumstances through His eyes. I rejoice because we have seen a number of people come to faith in recent weeks. Many of these we are baptizing in the next few weeks. I rejoice at the number of new families that are joining our church and the many new visitors that we see week to week. I rejoice at the number of new volunteers that are standing up to serve. All of these are reasons to rejoice at the work that God is doing. I also mourn though. We have families that we have lost through the time of Covid. I mourn for those who are adversely impacted by Covid. I mourn the brokenness I see in our culture. I mourn the division, doubt, and skepticism that rules in our world.
I say all of this to say that I am still hopeful. I don’t yet see what God is doing in our time, but I know that God is unchanged. He is not surprised by our current circumstances. He has led His people through many trying times. I pray that He would give each of us a new and fresh perspective. That we would see the chaos of our world as an opportunity to shine the light of Christ into the deepest and darkest crevasses in our world, rather than a being defeated. I pray that God would open our eyes and allow us to see His work and His glory. He is our God, our Creator, our Savior. As I survey the works of God from scripture all the way through my life and rest firmly on the fact that God is in control, I choose to rejoice. I hope you will join me praising God for His goodness.