Admission into Joy

You took away my clothes of sadness, and clothed me in happiness.
PSALM 30:11

The first step to joy is a plea for help, an acknowledgment of moral destitution, an admission of inward paucity. Those who taste God’s presence have declared spiritual bankruptcy and are aware of their spiritual crisis. Their cupboards are bare. Their pockets are empty. Their options are gone. They have long since stopped demanding justice; they are pleading for mercy.…

They ask God to do for them what they can’t do without him. They have seen how holy God is and how sinful they are and have agreed with Jesus’ statement, “Salvation is impossible.”

Oh, the irony of God’s delight—born in the parched soil of destitution rather than the fertile ground of achievement.

It’s a different path, a path we’re not accustomed to taking. We don’t often declare our impotence. Admission of failure is not usually admission into joy. Complete confession is not commonly followed by total pardon. But then again, God has never been governed by what is common.

The Applause of Heaven