Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Are you grateful? – Day 9

Thankful for the moments of discomfort

Bible text(s)

11You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance;

you have taken away my sorrow

and surrounded me with joy.

12So I will not be silent;

I will sing praise to you.

LORD, you are my God,

I will give you thanks for ever.

Psalms 30:11-12GNBOpen in Bible reader

One summer’s day, it was extremely hot in Cape Town. It was about 4 pm and it was still 30 degrees Celsius when I decided to take my daughter, Joalé, who loves swimming, for a surprise visit to a nearby swimming pool.

Everything went according to plan – until about 2 kilometres from the pool. Suddenly, the discomfort of the car seat and the heat overwhelmed Joalé. She started crying and no comforting words or promises of something wonderful on its way could stop the tears. At that moment, she wanted out! At one stage I almost decided to turn back home.

When she saw the pool, Joalé’s tears immediately disappeared and were replaced with a broad smile. The temporary discomfort in the car suddenly made sense and was even worth it as she realised what it all was about.

There, next to the pool, it struck me that we also, from time to time, react in the same way when we experience seasons of discomfort in our lives. Instead of trusting God to be in control and working behind the scenes, we start whining and complaining.

The Israelites did this in the wilderness. God was leading them to the Promised Land. He demonstrated his power and ability through various miracles. Still, they became dissatisfied with the temporary inconvenience. This led to murmuring and complaining. It clouded their perspective and, in the end, caused a whole generation to never enter the Promise Land.

In Psalm 30:11-12 the psalmist writes: “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.”

The greatest temptation during uncomfortable seasons in our lives is to start questioning God. We then start to whine and complain. The truth, however, is that God knows the future. He has plans to bring us prosperity and not disaster, and he already has clothes of joy ready to replace the clothes of mourning. Let’s, therefore, sing to his glory as we thank him for the uncomfortable seasons in our lives. The ‘swimming pool’ and the ‘promised land’ are perhaps just around the corner. God bless.

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