Roy Exum: Morning Always Comes

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

NOTE: My close friends know that I adore the writings and common sense of Max Lucado, a fountain of hope from San Antonio. Last week, as two celebrities ended their lives, I was drawn to an essay by Max that all of us who struggle with depression must never forget because it’s fact.  In Psalms there is a wonderful verse, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” In this gem from Max, he explains why the darkness never lasts, and begs us to hold on a little while longer.

* * *

“BUT JOY COMETH IN THE MORING” BY Max Lucado

The suicides of CNN’s Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade illustrate an all-to-common tragedy – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week that nearly 45,000 people committed suicide in the U.S. in 2016 alone, and said the suicide rate in the U.S. rose by nearly 30 percent from 1999 to 2016.

While the CDC report isn’t surprising, it is sobering. If a disease saw a spike like we’ve seen with suicides, we would deem it an epidemic.

How do we explain the increase? We’ve never been more educated. We have tools of technology our parents could not have dreamed of. We are saturated with entertainment and recreation. Yet more people than ever are orchestrating their own departure. How could this be? And what can we do?

Suicide victims battled life’s rawest contests. They often faced a mental illness or physical illnesses and felt the peril of mental fatigue. What you and I take for granted, they coveted. Optimism. Hope. Confidence that all would be well – that they would be well.

Their clouds had no silver linings. Their storms had no rainbows.

What led fashion designer Kate Spade to take her own life?

If that describes the way you feel, can I urge you to consider one of the great promises of the Bible? The promise begins with this phrase: “Weeping may last through the night” (Ps. 30:5).

Of course, you knew that much. You didn’t need to read the verse to know its truth. Weeping can last through the night. Weeping may last through the night, and the next night and the next.

This is not news to you.

But this may be: “Joy comes with the morning” (Ps. 30:5). Despair will not rule the day. Sorrow will not last forever. The clouds may eclipse the sun, but they cannot eliminate it. Night might prolong the dawn, but it cannot defeat it. Morning comes. Not as quickly as we want. Not as dramatically as we desire. But morning comes, and, with it, comes joy. Joy comes.

Joy comes because God comes.

In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” published in 1948, Dale Carnegie told the story of a woman he called Mary Cushman who learned this important truth.

The Depression of the 1930s all but devastated Mary’s family. Her husband’s paycheck shrank to $18 a week. Since he was ill, there were many weeks he didn’t earn even that much.

Mary began to take in laundry and ironing. She dressed her five kids with Salvation Army clothing. At one point the local grocer, to whom they owed $50, accused her 11-year-old son of stealing.

That was all Mary could take.

Mary said: “I couldn’t see any hope … I shut off my washing machine, took my little five-year-old girl into the bedroom and plugged up the windows and cracks with paper and rags. I turned on the gas heater we had in the bedroom – and didn’t light it.

“As I lay down on the bed with my daughter beside me, she said, ‘Mommy, this is funny, we just got up a little while ago.’ But I said, ‘Never mind, we’ll take a little nap.’ Then I closed my eyes, listening to the gas escape from the heater. I shall never forget the smell of that gas. …

“Suddenly, I heard music. I listened. I had forgotten to turn off the radio in the kitchen. But it didn’t matter now. But the music kept on and presently I heard someone singing an old hymn.

“What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

“As I listened to the hymn, I realized I had made a terrible and tragic mistake. ... I had tried to fight all my terrible battles alone. I jumped up, turned off the gas, opened the door and raised my windows.”

Mary went on to explain how she spent the rest of the day giving thanks to God for the blessings she had forgotten: five healthy children. She promised that she would never be ungrateful. Her family eventually lost their home, but she never lost her hope. They weathered the Depression. Those five children grew up, married, and had children of their own.

Mary said: “As I look back on that terrible day when I turned on the gas, I thank God over and over that I woke up in time. What joys I would have missed. How many wonderful years I would have forfeited forever. … Whenever I hear now of someone who wants to end his life I feel like crying out, ‘Don’t do it! Don’t.’ The blackest moments we live through can only last a little time – and then comes the future.”

And you? You’ll be tempted to give up. Please don’t. Open your Bible. Meditate on Scripture. Sing hymns. Talk to someone about your hurt. Seek help. Place yourself in a position to be found by hope. Weeping comes. But so does joy. Darkness comes, but so does the morning. Sadness comes, but so does hope. Sorrow may have the night, but it cannot have our life.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

* * *

THE SURVIVOR’S CREED

When going through these tough times, Max has a creed that encourages and instructs:

You will get through this.
It won’t be painless.
It won’t be quick.
But God will use this mess for good.
Don’t be foolish or naïve.
But don’t despair either.
With God’s help, you’ll get through this.

------

royexum@aol.com


Don’t Trust County Attorney Taylor’s Gag Order

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

Roy Exum: Sunday’s Blood Eclipse


At this point, most of us are aware of the WWTA debacle on site selection and the half-baked planning for a new treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road. There were also untruths given to the ... (click for more)

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone ... (click for more)

The sun, the moon, the stars, and the celebration of the late Martin Luther King are inching towards a perfect alignment for this Sunday night. At just before midnight, every child below the ... (click for more)


Opinion

Don’t Trust County Attorney Taylor’s Gag Order

At this point, most of us are aware of the WWTA debacle on site selection and the half-baked planning for a new treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road. There were also untruths given to the public about the basis or need for a new treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road by WWTA. That, my friends, is offensive. Pam Sohn of the Times Free Press outed the WWTA’s false contention ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues ... (click for more)

Breaking News

McNally Says New Governor Lee To Continue State's Success

Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge)said Saturday, following the inauguration of Governor Bill Lee by joint convention of the Tennessee General Assembly, that the new governor will continue the state's recent success. "Despite the weather in Nashville, today was a beautiful day in Tennessee. The inauguration of Bill Lee gave this state something not seen before in modern ... (click for more)

5 Arrested For Blocking Road During Women's Rally In Chattanooga

Five people were arrested during a Women's Rally in Chattanooga on Saturday. They were charged with obstructing a highway. They included Virginia Marie Moss, 57, of 981 Fairmount Ave. and Alaina Kailyn Cobb, 32, of 3615 Highland Terrace Dr. Also arrested was William Boyd Nix, 49, of 901 Siskin Dr. and Joel Ryan Willis, 52, of 5700 Roper St., East Ridge. Jean-Marie Lawrence, ... (click for more)

Sports

Baylor Sweeps Matches With Father Ryan, MBA

McCallie hosted four dual meet wrestling matches Saturday afternoon involving Baylor and two Division II teams from Nashville, including Father Ryan and Montgomery Bell Academy. Top-ranked and unbeaten Baylor stayed that way as they topped Father Ryan by a 42-36 final in the opener while rolling past MBA by a 60-12 margin. A moment of silence was observed before the first ... (click for more)

Brainerd Hangs On To Hand Tyner 1st 6-AA Loss

Despite an uncharacteristic first half of the season, the rumors of Brainerd High School’s basketball death among the District 6-AA kingpins has been greatly exaggerated and Saturday afternoon inside the comfy warm surroundings of the High-Jackson Gymnasium the Panthers made that loud and clear from the opening tipoff. The Panthers forced 12 first-quarter turnovers and raced ... (click for more)