Friday, May 29, 2020

I Hope You Dance

Are you suffering today with pain, loss or illness? I Hope You Dance, which is the title of a Country Western ballad by Lee Ann Womack that is in may son and daughter-in-law’s wedding video.   We all will have troubles at sometime if not today.  Psalm 30:11 says, I will turn your mourning into dancing,” which does not make sense in a worldly way. It is a spiritual promise of God. Psalm 30 tells us that we should praise, extol the Lord for He will lift us up.  This means that the Lord brings us out of the pit or the grave as we cry out to Him (v.3). It says, “Lord, I cried out to you and you healed me” (Psalm 30:2). Psalm 103 tells us of the One “Who heals all our diseases, who lifts our life from the pit, who fills us with love and compassion” (Psalm 103:2-4). Psalm 40, also of David says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God” (Psalm 40:1-3).  It goes on to say to rejoice and be glad for the Lord is our deliverer. Now as we head back to Psalm 118, we read in verse 14, “The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation…and He has given us light…O, give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 118:14,27,29). I see a thread of prayer, praise and thanksgiving, followed by healing and deliverance. I see praise breaking into song and even dancing like David did before the Lord when the Arc of the Covenant was rescued from the enemy (2 Samuel 6:14).

There are indeed times for dancing, even in trials and troubles. In the parable of the lost son in Luke 15:25, the older son hears music and saw dancing, and was angry. But his father and God in heaven were rejoicing for his brother who was lost was found.

The Prophet Zephaniah speaks of rejoicing in the faithfulness of God. Adonai your God is in your midst—
    a mighty Savior!
He will delight over you with joy.
He will quiet you with His love.
He will dance for joy over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17 TLV).
That is the kind of God we serve, so we should do the same.

The woman of noble character in Proverbs is so strong and trusting in God in all circumstances that,
“She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom” (Proverbs 31 Epilogue).
I find laughter closely related to singing and dancing. All of these are a natural outgrowth of complete trust in God’s goodness and mercy. It reminds me of 2 Corinthians 12:9 admonishing us that, “His power is made perfect in our weakness and that when we are weak, He is strong.”

The Wisdom literature is full of help in tough times. In fact Solomon, the probable writer of Ecclesiastes said, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). The wise go there because God is there with them. He draws near in our sorrow and pain. C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed said, “God whispers in our pleasures, but shouts in our pain” He is the One we seek in hardship and joy. He is the only One who comes near and lifts us up. He is the One who turns our mourning into dancing.

I know that the world is harsh and dark, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength. Even though they may stumble. Isaiah 40 tells us that they will not fall; their strength will be renewed and they shall mount up with wings like the eagles. It is a vision of the power of God in our trusting and hoping in Him. Soaring and singing, laughing and dancing are a natural outpouring of our praise and thanks. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever” (Psalm 136). And I hope you dance.
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances, but they're worth takin'

I hope you dance.

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