You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11 NLT
Imagine this. The living room furniture is pushed against the walls, rugs are rolled up, hardwood floors are glistening and a piano plays in the background. Your father steps into the room and sweeps you, little infant you, up onto his arm, hand firmly grasped in his as he steps out, two steps forward, one back – and the dance begins. As a toddler, he slips you from his arm to the tops of his toes as he steps out, two steps forward, one back and a fun bouncy step that makes you giggle with glee. Wheee! And he whispers truth and beauty into you of who you are as he introduces you to His Father.
As a teen, you slip off the toes of your father onto the hardwood floor as he steps into a swirl and a twirl and a dip – what a trip! Life becomes more fun and more complex with each step you take; yet the words of truth and beauty continue to be told as your father speaks the Word of his Father into you, telling you who and Whose you are.
One day you let go of your father’s hand as you step out the door into college, career, marriage or motherhood – a life of your own. Your father prays he has taught you the steps you need in life and the truth of who and Whose you are. He also prays about what you put in your hand in place of his.
You dance through life as you marry, birth and begin rearing two sons. What joy they are…until they start wrestlin’ – then it’s no hold barred chaos for a little while! Those guys don’t have time for two steps forward and one back – they’re everywhere at once as limbs and legs twist and turn all-akimbo!
Yet they grow and go out the door into life, letting go of your hand that guided and provided and leaving the truth tellers of who they are at home. And they begin listening to the world instead of the Word.
One day, you learn your youngest son put medication into his hand and combined it with a beer – and the combination was not only illegal, it was lethal. And mourning begins, morning after morning, after morning.
Our amazing Almighty God gives you a dream on the morning of your son’s service. Your son is dressed in his favorite Scooby Doo T-shirt, blue jeans, blazer and he’s dancing way down low in a deep squat with arms swirling, two hockey sticks crossed against the wall . And Jesus is dancing mirror image to your son! Jesus turns and points directly into your face, saying, “This is to bring you great joy. I taught him how to dance. I taught him how.”
Two steps forward, one back, my Father took my shaking hands in His and stepped out, leading me into joyful dancing. He has taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. INDEED He has!
Read Psalm 30:11 once again. All of us experience loss in our lifetime, of someone we love dearly, yet our Father God takes our mourning and turns it into joy as we hold His hand and follow His lead into His Word.
Lord, Thank You for turning our mourning into joyful dancing. Thank You for taking away our clothes of mourning and for clothing us with Your JOY. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Dance With Jesus: From Grief to Grace won two 2016 Christian Literary Awards and hit #1 on Amazon. Share it with a friend facing loss, would you?