A Song of Joy
...We sing when we've overcome, like Miriam who just crossed the Red Sea. We sing when we’re on the edge of glory – in the process of good news – like Hannah or Mary blessed with extraordinary pregnancies. We sing when we're still seeking to overcome, like the favorite civil rights hymn that’s probably been playing in your head since I used the word overcome! Songs of easy life are boring and don't move us – they don’t usually get written.
We sing to praise God when we’ve crossed the Red Sea, or when we’ve found out the cancer is in remission, or the surgery was a success. We sing to thank God when in the process of the good news of an extraordinary pregnancy, or when we’re about to start a new job, or when we’ve finally gotten out of a toxic relationship. We sing to call on God when we’re seeking civil rights, when we’re risking for justice, when we’re striving for the kingdom of God on earth.
We sing when we’re staring at trouble, when we’re right in the midst of trouble, when we’re emerging out of trouble, when we’ve left trouble behind.
I don’t believe God gives us troubles to test us but I do see that we get closer to God through our struggles because we're working together, we’re calling on God, we’re singing to God. Just like we get closer to each other when we’re working
side by side, when we’re leaning on each other, when we’re asking for help and giving it.
The hard times in our lives are the best opportunities for us to get closer to each other and get closer to God. Even the hard times that are joyous, like new babies or weddings or new jobs – good news still means change, still brings challenge. These challenges, these troubles, these changes, are the cracks in our lives. Just like grass and weeds and flowers grow up through the cracks in a sidewalk, life flows through our cracks.
We find joy in the cracks, not in the easy life.
How many seriously faithful people do you know who’ve lived easy lives? Faith, living close to God is usually strongest in people who’ve had all kinds of challenges, who’ve weathered all sorts of storms, who are still living amidst cracks, still calling for justice, still singing in hope.
Look to the cracks – in your own life, and in the lives of people around you – and see God’s light shining through. See the grass growing up through the cracks....