But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud. (Ezra 3:12)

THE MAN AT THE HEAD of the table started crying, as I had not seen before. Eventually, I realized what had happened. This man had given some money to a needy couple at the table, and the act of giving was new to him. He was overwhelmed with joy.

As a youth I was puzzled at the ways people expressed their joy during a worship service. A man cried uncontrollably. Some caught tears trickling down their cheeks. Still others thanked God by raising a hand. I also observed those individuals who were quiet, possibly overflowing on the inside.

The laying of the foundation for the new temple seemed to be a time for celebration. However, the leaders and older men wept because they recalled the original temple and were sad that the new one would not be the same. They may have also thought of all those wasted years in captivity. The younger people present did not have those memories and were just glad to see the start of the new temple.

Just like that day at the temple, we can express joy differently from each other because God gave us different temperaments, and events may bring back special memories for some and not others. Together, let us praise God for his goodness in a way that comes naturally and that may even change as the years pass.

Let God direct the way we praise him.

Edwin Wiles is a retired science instructor from Kernersville Wesleyan and Surry Community Colleges. He enjoys his wife and family, reading, photography, gardening, and his church family.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.