Wednesday, April 14, 2010
He Turns My Mourning Into Dancing
My heart has been overwhelmed within me. My prayer and song was Psalm 61 because it has been a banner prayer for me whenever I've been in distress. We used to sing this song years ago...."I cried unto the L-rd with my voice....when my heart is overwhelmed, He will lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." "For He has been a refuge for me." He truly has been a refuge from all that has assailed me in my life - He has always been a refuge. And this morning He has not let my enemies rejoice over me but has revealed the enemies hand so that I can stand firm in my armor of prayer, praise and His living Word. Today is Nisan 30 so the first Psalm I read today was Psalm 30 (I then read each 30th Psalm to the end so that I read 5 Psalms each day of the month). The Psalm seems to echo my heart and my mouth is full of praise for the Most High G-d. I am anxious to see the deliverance He will bring for me.
This past week's Torah portion was Sh'mini and it was all about sacrifices and detailed the unholy fire offered by Aaron's sons which cost them their lives. I came across a quote with regards to this passage which I reread today and it had power in it for me this morning - "The ultimate purpose of sacrifice is to restore the fellowship between G-d and His creation." Sometimes the very thing we resist (because our flesh does not want to submit) is the very thing G-d will use to bring us freedom. Can you imagine how the Israelites felt standing before a wall of water with the Egyptians close on their heel? They literally were cornered and had nowhere to go but through the sea. But that is exactly what G-d used to bring deliverance and freedom from their oppressors. Not only were they able to escape the Egyptians but G-d crushed their oppressors with the closing of the sea. And it's interesting that I thought of the Israelites deliverance with regards to Psalm 30 for both of these passages speak of dancing.
Psalm 30:11 - "You have turned my mourning into dancing." Exodus 15:20 "Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing."
Dancing is a beautiful way to praise the L-rd. Can you imagine trying to dance while your heart is heavy with fear, doubt, and distress? Those emotions make our feet feel like lead but when G-d has eased your burdens, your feet just want be free to praise Him. Psalm 149 is a beautiful Psalm about dancing in praise and it sounds to me like we are to dance and praise Him before our deliverance comes - while we are in the midst of the fire like Shadrach, Meshack, and Abedneggo. Because we hope in our Deliverer. In fact, verse 6 says to let the "high praises of G-d be in our mouth while a two-edged sword is in our hand." Ephesians 6 instructs us in what the armor of G-d is and how to "wear" it. But it goes a step further and says that having done all, "stand firm!" We have the word of truth in our mouth and in our heart and the word is the SWORD - The abundant grace of G-d is able to help us stand firm, dance and praise, while His word does battle for us.