by Heather Tietz
You have turned my mourning into dancing for me. You have removed my sackcloth, and clothed me with gladness.
If you have ever petted a goat, you know what sackcloth feels like.
Sackcloth is rough and scratchy. But it’s also a durable, breathable material, great for holding grains in and letting moisture out. However, it’s not so great for wearing next to your skin, unless you want to be miserable!
At times, being miserable was the desire of the Jewish people. They wore sackcloth to show that their bodies were every bit as uncomfortable as their hearts and minds.
Perhaps we could benefit from some theoretical sackcloth sometimes.
Rough life circumstances can be beneficial if they let our vanity, pride, and selfishness out. They refine us and purify us like the pores on a bag of sackcloth.
Our moments of mourning can pull us closer to God in prayer. Our bouts of misery can help us to relate to others while also giving others the opportunity to grow their spirits by blessing us.
When we are finally able to take off the sackcloth, we are eager to praise, ready to thank, and better able to appreciate better the good in life that we do have.
Kind and loving Father,
Thank You for clothing me with gladness.
May I remember the grace You have provided, keeping You in my thoughts as I go through this day.
Help me to praise You for the good things in my life continually.
In Jesus’ Holy Name, I pray, Amen.