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Mourning Into Morning

Elizabeth Albano December 20, 2019
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This post was written by TeenPact Student Vice President Madelyn McDonald

The life of Jesus is a beautiful thing. Throughout His life, one of the greatest things Jesus demonstrated to us is how to glorify God through our lament.


In John 11, Jesus learned Lazarus had died and He went to Judea to meet Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha met Him outside the village, and John 11:33-34 says, “When Jesus saw her weeping [Martha], and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ He asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied.” And what may be one of the most well-known verses follows— “Jesus Wept.” (John 11:35)


Verse 33 says, “he was deeply moved in spirit.” However, as He approaches the tomb, it says, “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.” It says he was deeply moved in the spirit two times within just a few verses. One time right before He wept and a second time right before He prayed to God a prayer of thanksgiving and joy. If you’re unfamiliar with the end of the story, Lazarus came out of the tomb after Jesus commanded him to do so.


When I think of being moved in spirit, I think about that deep feeling inside my chest and when my eyes flood with tears. At this moment, when the sorrow moved Jesus for the second time, He prayed this prayer to God the Father, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” (John 11:41) I see the joy in this thanksgiving from Christ to the Father. He felt lament, but he brought it to Christ in thankfulness and with a heart overflowing with joy.


Frequently I forget that when I am experiencing pain, although my selfishness wants to dwell on my sorrow, Christ calls me to surrender my sadness to my Father with joy and thanksgiving. A beautiful thing about grief is that it doesn’t last forever. “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” (Psalm 30:11-12)


What I hear from these scriptures is to lament in a state of joy and thanksgiving. We may feel inclined to do the opposite, but who knows a greater sense of temptation than the One who never gave in? Certainly not I. My burdens, pain, suffering, and exhaustion are not enough to reason to leave joy and thanksgiving behind. No one knows the fullness of them like Christ does, not even me who is experiencing them. I have given in to sin, but Jesus never did.


So, present your pain to one who knows the extensive lengths of temptation. Present them with joy and thanksgiving to Yahweh, who lamented in a perfect state of joy and worship. He has heard you in your grief and mourning. He will turn your wailing into dancing and your mourning into morning.


Because, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:9)


Thank you, Jesus, for teaching us how to be sad and have joy all at the same time. You are good to us.


Hallel Yahweh, all I have is Christ.


Student Vice President Madelyn McDonald

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of TeenPact Leadership Schools. To learn more about our Vision & Values, please visit teenpact.com/vision-values/.

About the Author

Elizabeth Albano

Elizabeth is a lover of design, branding, and good typography. After studying Strategic Communications and Graphic Design in college, she is… Read More