I remember the first night I read the verse below in the context of a personal “moment.” My wife and kiddos were asleep and I was up late alone with myself and my thoughts, caught up in some anguishing self-examination and prayer for repentance. Then, in my studying and praying I came across this verse, and it put the evening’s “torment” into a context that transformed it into a truth too wonderful for me:
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
Ever since then, I cannot read this verse without a sense of wonder and gratitude. And it serves to remind me of how the impact a passage of scripture has on us is not just a function of what the verse says, but the background that our experiences and lives provide at the particular moment in time when we read the passage.
For me, at that moment, it was the perfect verse at the perfect time. And I appreciate that time in my life all the more because of it. As difficult as that time was, the insight I gained into God’s word and way — and into this verse in particular — made any such difficulty a small price to pay. For weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.