When I read Psalm 130, I immediately think of the song “Out of the Deep” from John Rutter’s Requiem. Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO3qljQX09I
This song is utterly gorgeous. My church choir has sung it multiple times, and I had the opportunity to choreograph and perform a dance to it as well. When I performed the dance at church, I’m completely aware that my dancing skills were a little rusty. But what I tried to emote as I was dancing was the sense of the shift in feeling from the first to the second stanza. In the first, the writer is in pain, suffering, doesn’t know how he is going to make it through the pain she is facing. But then, in the second stanza, he remembers that he is waiting for God. And he realizes that God will always, always answer with forgiveness and love. I remember when I was dancing that in this second half, I felt so much joy. I couldn’t help but beam from ear to ear as I thought of God always being a refuge of mercy and love. After the service, people came up to me and said that the expression on my face had inspired them. I had just been thinking about feeling my own joy, but I was so happy that I could express that feeling to others too. This Psalm writer shares with us all the pain and beauty of life, and ends with such confidence and trust in God’s love.
What is even more amazing about that second stanza is that the writer is still in the midst of pain when he expresses that utter trust in God. Loving and trusting God is so easy when everything is going our way, when God’s blessings are showering down upon us. But how much more amazing is it to be right in the middle of tough times and still be able to feel the joy of God’s love? That takes patience and trust that I don’t always have. It makes the writer’s faith all the more beautiful. And perhaps faith is most beautiful and inspiring when it is put to the test.
So as I think about Lent today, I’m going to remember the joy in that second stanza. The joy that comes from utter trust in God, even when we are at rock bottom. Every day of my life I have the chance to express that joy to others, just as I did in the dance. I pray to God that He will help me not only feel the inner peace that comes from trusting Him, but that He will also help me find ways to show others the smile that His peace brings me.