Sorrow and Joy, Interwoven
… to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit.
Forgive me if I’m sounding like a broken record, but I read in this glorious Scripture a promise of redemption, not a mere principle of replacement. In other words, God doesn’t merely exchange our sorrow for joy in the way that we change our rain-drenched clothes for dry ones. He transforms our sorrows into joy in the way that our deepest sufferings become our highest achievements—in the way that a rugged cross, seen from the hindsight of heaven, shines as a crown of glory. Friend, that cup of loneliness or depression or persecution you’ve been drinking daily, God is—even now—transforming into a well of joy. Those tears you’ve been damming up behind your eyes for weeks, maybe even years, flowing from broken relationships and failed health and lost loved ones, will soon pour forth in an everlasting river of delight. Oh, the marvelous metamorphosis that awaits us! Only then will we be able to see the threads of our temporary trials for what they truly are:
Garments of praise.