Don't lament, repent

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever! (Psalm 30 11-12) 

If we stop to consider what sin does to the emotions, physical body, and even our spirit, perhaps we'd describe it much as being in a state of great loss and mourning. It strips us of our joy, but it also strips us of our hope. We wallow in our downfall much as the mourner 'wallows' in the extreme sorrow over their loss. Mourning involves a deep ache for what was lost - there is an internal agony that often makes its way to the surface. Sin has a way of stripping us down - laying us bare, causing us to bemoan our losses, agonizing that we don't have a 'way back'. We might be incapable of finding our 'way back', but God has already set the 'way back' into motion - we just need to call out for his mercy.

As some may be able to relate, sin leaves an agony that is hard to describe. The 'mental' aspect of sin is hard on both the body and the spirit. It leaves us tormented and in deep misery - unable to see our way past it and 'wallowing' in the mire of it. For a while, we 'mourn' out loud - as though lifting our woeful lament would be enough to 'do penance' for our sinful actions. Yet, all the woeful lament is doing is creating more and more turmoil deep within our soul. We can lament our sin, or we can repent of our sin. There is a big difference - one just keeps us wallowing in the mire, while the other lifts us out, cleans us up, and clothes us with garments of great beauty. Grace's garments are most beautiful when they adorn the sinner's now clean body, soul, and spirit!

Look again at our passage - God is the one who 'disrobes' us of our clothes of mourning and replaces them with those 'grace garments'. We cry out, but God does the work of clearing away the mess within our emotions, bringing renewed strength to our bodies, and creating a right spirit within. Our response is to sin and dance before him. Does the mourner dance? Not at all, for the depth of the sorrow is like an anchor that keeps him tethered to the place of bemoaning his sin. Does the one who has been lifted from the pit of sin dance? You betcha! For the soul set free is unable to refrain from the display of the joy that comes when the soul is set free from the misery of sin's darkness and mire. Just sayin!


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