Our Bible Lesson asks 'Are sin, disease and death real?" Not a question to be answered lightly. It includes several examples from the Scriptures of people dealing with those three claims and it shows how they were healed.
But this morning I am spending time on a different idea that popped out at me from the Responsive Reading. It was in Psalms 30:11. "Thou has turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;".
Sackcloth is a very heavy, coarse, dark colored cloth of goat's hair. It is worn as a sign of mourning, next to the skin. The putting off of sackcloth was a symbol of joy, of thanksgiving for deliverance from an intolerable position or condition; it celebrated a changing of affliction by one's enemies to the casting off of the yoke of bondage.
How do we use this information today? Well, should you be dealing with a rash or skin condition you might consider if there is something in your thought that is causing you to mourn or to be irritated. It may be the loss of a loved one but it might also be the loss of other things. Whatever it seems to be, it has affected you in a way that would take away your joy; your joy in yourself, your life, your spouse, your family, your friends, your church, your work. And dealing with it has caused you to show the world in your face and your attitude that you are mourning that loss.
You put on the sackcloth. You can take it off, with the help and support of divine Love.
Our Bible Lesson offers many ways to be alert and watchful of what is creeping into thought. Are those ideas and suggestions from God, the source of all good, who loves you unconditionally and is constantly pouring our grace and blessings? If they are negative thoughts, absolutely not.
Naturally, there is a time to express grief but one has to be careful not to don that hairy shirt with resentment or anxiety or stubborn will. There may be a need for forgiveness. Divine Love forgives, Jesus forgave, can we not also forgive? Who is hurt when we harbor those feelings? We get stuck with sackcloth and is of our own designing.
God is 'girding' you with joy. He is anointing you with the oil of gladness. Not at all like a sackcloth. More like being clothed with righteousness, right-thinking, Truth-knowing.
A much nicer outfit by far!