It’s a Tunnel, Not a Trap Door

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | October 16, 2023

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
    praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:4-5

You and I are invited to follow Jesus in and through “the hard stuff”—whatever that may be today and no matter how long it lasts. Ultimately, if we’re open, the Holy Spirit will lead us to discover a better way to navigate this unscripted adventure we call life with God. When the weight of your world feels like it’s crashing in, remember, it’s a tunnel not a trap door.

Psalm 30:4-5 is a nice pair of verses to put on a mug. That is, until you’re trying to read them day after day through tears of sadness, anger, confusion, fear, and gut-wrenching pain. Personally, I’d rather toss my tea across the room than be given another platitude. But just because I feel hopeless, my current reality doesn’t make God’s promises untrue, unneeded, or unwelcome.

The Psalmist implores the people of God, in any circumstance or condition, to honor Him with their voices and lives. And beyond saying the Lord’s name, the passage calls for recognizing His perfect track record of redemption. And why? Because when hardships, suffering, or the consequences of our sin feel like they’ll last forever, God lets us know they’re just a blip on His radar and an end is in sight. When we are convinced that loss or failure will never end, we can make it through the dark of night because hope and joy are already on our side.

There are no platitudes in Psalm 30:4-5, only truth. While “the hard stuff” you and I encounter (or sinfully choose) may feel like a series of trap doors, that’s not how life or God works. Going to bed and waking up in the morning, no matter how we feel inside, is a tunnel rhythm. The same is true of hardship and pain. We enter on one end and exit on the other. By grace, the Lord provides us hope in the darkness and promises us the light of joy each day the sun rises.

Next Steps   

Untangling the tension between how you feel and what God says is true is part of life. Today, call or meet up with someone that is familiar with your hardships and struggles. Talk through Psalm 30:4-5 together and ask God to surprise you with hope today and joy tomorrow morning.

Recommended Reading: The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth by Gerald G. May, M.D.