Friday, June 18, 2010

"Thou hast put off my sackcloth.....whaaa??"

I listen to Christian radio almost exclusively. I like the talk shows a lot, and I've come to appreciate the music more as the years go by. It used to be kinda cheesy.... but now it's settled into this adult contemporary sound that I really love. Sometimes when I'm in the car with my kids and we're listening to the radio, I remember the early years of my own childhood.
I was usually the one stuffed in the waaaaay back of the station wagon with a very large sucker, and my folks played cassette tapes of what was then enormously popular Christian music, which many times included "choruses." A chorus wasn't actually a song, but more like a little snipit of scripture put to a catchy jingle. And lest anyone forget, these songettes were Bible verses, and King James at that. I cut my teeth on tunes like, "...for everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God he that loveth not knoweth not God..." wow that's a tongue-twister for a kid, right? There was even a song for all the books of the Bible, just in case your 1st grader needed to know where Ezra was (um....after 2 Chronicles and before Nehemiah, Esther and Job....just in case you were wondering.)
A few weeks ago, my pastor referenced a scripture during his message. It was Psalm 30:11, although I don't think he power-pointed it or even said where it was found....and since he didn't say it in King James, I didn't recognize it for what it was at the time although it hit a chord in me.
Later that day, as I reflected on the message, it occurred to me that I knew that passage of scripture....and before I could pull it out of recesses of my memory, the little tune came rushing back, like an old friend. I can't sing it for you, but the scripture is this;
"Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness."
I realized at that moment why the mention of that scripture had such an affect on me and wouldn't let me go that day.
It's the same message as The Valley Song, from where the title of this blog comes from...."I will sing of Your Mercies that lead me through valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy."
God's amazing love for me, His goodness and grace allowed me to experience the emotional ride I took during my pregnancy; the ups and downs...the fears, hopes, frustration and anxiety. That was the mourning.
But please don't miss the value and significance of this scripture! I've read your blogs, and I've seen your beautiful children. I've heard your voices, and I know there are hundreds of you that feel like I do. But just to punctuate this post, I'll give you the same scripture (Psalm 30:11) from The Message;
You did it! You changed wild lament into whirling dance;
Your ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I'm about to burst with song;
I can't keep quiet about You.
God, my God
I can't thank You enough.
"Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing"


  1. Dearest Jilly Bean,
    Now that it is summer, I get the chance to slow down and drink from the Rivers of Joy. You and Nathan bless me! (by the way, your whole fam does) May you be encouraged as you continue to encourage others! Singing with you..."Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing."
    Love ya,

  2. Great post, Jill, great post! I have absolutely nothing to add, except now, that song will be running through my head the rest of the night! :)

  3. What a SWEET picture! Jill, you are stinkin' beautiful!