“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob
and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall be like a watered garden,
and they shall languish no more.
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy;
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
Jeremiah 31:10-13 is such a beautiful passage. God promises to restore his people from the places to which they were scattered, and the response of the people, as Jeremiah could foresee, would be celebration: singing, dancing, joy, comfort. This is a party, people! God, the giver of all good things, has done and is doing and will do good things for His people. And I am one of them. So are you (cue “Father Abraham”).
God continually turns my mourning into joy. Just today I had someone share that they have been praying for me, someone who is a stranger to me but when she heard my name, she knew who I was. And she mentioned my daughter by name! That is powerful, a testimony to the love of God. My daughter is not forgotten, and even now her story is being used by God to draw others to Him. How many people have spent extra time in prayer because of her, because of us? That is mourning turned to joy.