Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. —Psalm 30:5 NLT
Amanda Todd was the Canadian teenager who became an unwitting spokesperson for despair at the age of fifteen after a predator had convinced her to pose topless for a photo. He later blackmailed her with threats to circulate the picture if she didn’t reveal more, but he posted the photo anyway. Humiliation rained down on her like a summer squall. From the high school hallway to the Internet highway, she became the laughingstock of her circle.
Already a fragile and private person, she retreated even further. She avoided friends, stayed home. Still, she couldn’t escape the texts, calls, and stares. The family changed schools, but the mockery followed. For three years she was stalked and taunted. She descended into drugs and alcohol. She cut herself. She hid in her room. She drank bleach and tried to take her life. Finally, in an act of desperation, she posted a nine-minute video on YouTube. Using flash cards set to a maudlin song, she recounted her months of horror: the shame she brought on her family, the pain she brought on herself. The video image shows only the lower half of her face and the written messages.
I have nobody.
I need someone.
My name is Amanda Todd.
A month after posting the video, she attempted suicide again. This time she succeeded.1
If hope were a rain cloud, Amanda Todd lived in the Sahara desert. She searched the skies for a reason to live and found none. Does God have a promise for someone like her?
He’d better. Anyone can give pep talks, but if God is who he claims to be, he sure as shootin’ better have a word for the despondent. Self-help manuals might get you through a bad mood or a tough patch. But what about an abusive childhood or a debilitating accident or years of chronic pain or public ridicule? Does God have a word for the dark nights of the soul?
He does. The promise begins with this phrase: “Weeping may last through the night” (Ps. 30:5 NLT).
Of course, you knew that much. You didn’t need to read the verse to know its truth. Weeping can last through the night. Just ask the widow in the cemetery or the mother in the emergency room. The man who lost his job can tell you. So can the teenager who lost her way. Weeping may last through the night, and the next night, and the next.
This is not new news to you.
But this may be: “Joy comes with the morning” (Ps. 30:5 NLT). Despair will not rule the day. Sorrow will not last forever. The clouds may eclipse the sun, but they cannot eliminate it. Night might delay the dawn, but it cannot defeat it. Morning comes. Not as quickly as we want. Not as dramatically as we desire. But morning comes, and with it comes joy.
Do you need this promise? Have you wept a river? Have you forsaken hope? Do you wonder if a morning will ever bring this night to an end? Mary Magdalene did.
Max Lucado, Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2018).
I have just completed a 7 Week Bible Study Lesson Series on Max Lucado’s book Unshakable Hope. It is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription plan. The idea is to invite each participant to purchase their own book.