When you look at the widespread suffering and injustice that are so prevalent in our world, it seems inappropriate even to talk about dancing with joy. How can we feel happiness when so many are suffering?
The praises of the psalm don’t stem from naive delusions about life. They come out of the depth of pain and suffering. They reflect the joy of redemption that is inspired by God, the confidence that God will never fail us or forsake us, but will be with us as a “very present help,” no matter what our circumstances. That very faith itself transforms our lives. The praise of the psalm reflects the laughter of the redeemed, the dance of the liberated; it is the deep confidence that God is good and that God’s goodness prevails.
The witness of our deliverance joins with the virtual chorus of witnesses throughout the ages who have not only believed that God does not leave us alone but is with us constantly. We are called to celebrate that good news, to encourage those around us who may be in the midst of their own suffering, to invite them to dance with us.
Healing, renewing and restoring God, we praise you for turning our pain and sorrow into dancing and songs of joy. Amen. — LD