My palms were sweaty as we waited in a changing room before the worship service began. I had envisioned this day for years, but our bout with childhood cancer made it even more special. Just three years removed from Carson’s last chemo treatment, the occasional anxieties that previously accompanied me daily were now just flashing evidences of a battle that was finally over. Though I still wrestle with fears over my son’s welfare, a new emotion weighs much heavier on my heart now. What was once trepidation over the possibility that Carson might miss the numerous rites of passage into manhood has now been replaced by the sheer delight of watching him navigate and experience the milestones that all parents anticipate sharing with their children.
This was one of those days.
Grandparents drove from out of state. Teachers from his school gathered to celebrate. A joyful congregation gathered round us to share in our gratitude. After professing Christ as his Savior and Lord, Carson was finally ready to take the step of baptism. Presiding over this ordinance is a highlight for every pastor, but to baptize my firstborn son, particularly after all he lived through in order to reach that moment, may be the greatest honor of my ministry. The trial that was now behind us made our appreciation deeper, our love fuller, and our worship meaningful.
Before we stepped into the baptistry, I bowed my headed in order to lift my thanksgiving. As I prayed, my mind raced to Psalm 30:2, “O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.” No wonder King David added, “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5b).” It reminded me that most trials are temporary, and even those that are not must yield to the redemptive purpose of God in the life to come.
The majority of our problems are not permanent experiences. Chances are, you WILL come out on the other side of whatever you are facing. This simple reminder was a constant motivation for me during the uncertain days of Carson’s battle. Even when our trials stretch over a lifetime and seem unending, our earthly agonies are but temporary discomforts against the backdrop of eternity.
Joy really does come in the morning, regardless of when the morning comes.