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April 19 – LivingRoom Lesson for YOUTH

Joy Comes with the Morning

I hope this week has been a good one for you, and I hope that you are enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve had!

Even though it may seem like time is standing still as we are confined mostly to our homes, the outside world is fast forwarding through yet another seasonal shift. Signs of spring are all around us, from early morning birdsong, to blooming flowers and trees, to longer days and warmer temperatures.

We also have some of those spring storms to deal with as well. John and I spent quite a bit of time last Saturday securing patio furniture, plants, and toys from the backyard to prepare for the predicted severe weather. We prepped our downstairs interior bathroom with emergency supplies, tennis shoes, coats, and even our bike helmets! (Yes, John had a good laugh at my expense when I suggested that.)

Last week in LivingRoom Lessons, I wrote about looking for the rainbows in our lives and resisting the stubborn cynicism that can come from experiencing a long period of grief or struggle. Sometimes we have to let go of our umbrellas and realize that we can trust in the eternal hope that God’s presence in our lives provides. Along the same lines, this week we are talking about how walking through the storms of life can change our perspective, and how, when we have Jesus in our life, we can be sure that Joy Comes with the Morning.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
    his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5 (NRSV)

Do you know what this flower is?


It’s a blossom from a tree called a Tulip Poplar. It is truly one of the most beautiful and unique tree blossoms I’ve seen. The thing about these, though, is that they grow up high in the trees. Often their beauty is concealed by the leaves growing around them and they can’t really be appreciated by earth-bound passers-by. In fact, you might walk right by – and even right underneath – these trees, and never notice their blooms.

But the other day, my girls and I happened to go out for a walk the morning after a night of windy thunderstorms. As we were walking down the path, we started noticing all these blossoms lying on the ground. Ordinarily, the blossoms might fall once they had started to wither, but the ones we saw that morning were vibrant and lovely. The thought struck me that if it hadn’t been for that storm with all its wind and rain the night before, we likely would have walked that path and never appreciated those tulip poplars. We would never have seen those beautiful blooms. In fact, we probably wouldn’t have looked up to notice those trees at all. Our perspective was changed because of the storm.

Questions to Consider

  • Are there “storms” in your own life? What are they?
  • How does God’s presence in your life alter how you experience the storms?
  • Can you recall a “tulip poplar” moment in your own life? Have you faced challenges that have helped you appreciate and find joy in something new?
  • How does your faith help you support others who might be facing storms of their own?

Closing Thoughts

Not only does God walk with us through the storms and struggles of life, but sometimes those storms can reveal the true beauty – and JOY – we didn’t even notice before. Peace and blessings to you! Have a great week!

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