Advent Devotionals

Turning Suffering to Joy

A midnight cry woke her from a restless sleep.

A tired mother dragged her weary body to her baby who was needy and looking for comfort in the arms of his nurturer. He pays no mind to the fact that his nurturer was depleted and felt needy as well. Sleep, help, and hope were some things that were fleeting as she fought back tears of depression and the anxious thoughts that came against her in the middle of her night time loneliness.

She often cried out to God for answers and reprieve but felt that her words and silent sobs fell on deaf ears of a God who was focused elsewhere. He seemed to enjoy those who seemed more worthy of joy and help than she.

Hope fell away. She approached Advent while struggling through this new yet repetitive season. Advent was to bring a fresh aroma of joy and light as she celebrated her savior, the very one that seemed distant and cold. No amount of twinkling lights or warm cookies could drag her out of her impossible situation that she fought against for almost her entire adult life.

Giving up was the forefront of her thoughts. This mother pushed through just enough to take care of her children, as she hid her secret of living in darkness right behind the surface of a humble homemaker facade. Her world was black behind a fake smile and jingle bell singing. The gift wrap ribbon was frayed and about to reveal the truth of what was under the fake shroud of joy.

Then one night, close to the eve of what should be the most joyful day of the year, she sat weeping. Tears washed over her baby’s head. She shook her fist at the Lord who seemed to be missing and cried out loud for healing, to be granted joy, and admitted that she just wanted to be done. Expecting her plea to not be heard, emptiness felt like it was creeping in. She waited for her hollow being to hit the bottom, but something different took hold of her. Her tears stopped, the baby settled, and fear left. Warmth came and followed with a sudden newness of hope.

She didn’t know what to do with hope. Instead of pushing it away like her hurt wanted to, her mind drifted towards it. Peace followed and 3am started to look a bit different. Placing her baby down in his crib and curling up next to her husband, rest followed and peace covered her home.

Psalm 30:11 NIV

You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy

Joy followed. It can follow you, too. On sleepless nights, joy can and will enter in. In the harsh winter days, joy can create warmth. In trying times, joy in the Lord can pull us through. In the sweltering summer, joy can give us reprieve.

Our wailings can turn into dancing. Our griefs can turn into joy. Our lives can reflect the Lord's goodness and mercy through the darkest of times. Click To Tweet

Coldness in humanity wants to oppress us all. Bickering with false ideas of Christianity and fighting against the world want to push us down. Christ came to bring us an undeniable joy despite what the enemy tries to defeat us with. Jesus took all of our cries, trials, and griefs with Him to the cross so that we can live free of the burdens that lie to us. Our hard times have turned into something beautiful as we turn them over to the Lord and trust that He will see us through.

Our wailings can turn into dancing. Our griefs can turn into joy. Our lives can reflect the Lord’s goodness and mercy through the darkest of times.

3 thoughts on “Turning Suffering to Joy

  1. I have two little grandchildren, but sleeplessness is not easy for my two sons and my in-laws. However, I am glad that their experiences of being joy came in their lives. In the meantime, your post was featured on iHeart Verse Link-Up. Congratulations 🙂

  2. Such needed encouragement for what can be a hard season for many. Visiting you from the i heart verse link party. laurensparks.net

  3. My daughter has a newborn and those long nights can be difficult. Sleeplessness is tough. I’m grateful for the possibility of joy all along the way!

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