As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Psalm 126 (NRSV)
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.
The “watercourses in the Negeb” are dry riverbeds that are year-round signs of seasonal fruitfulness. These dry riverbeds, proof that there was once enough water to fill a river, serve as symbols of the promise of the coming rains. Look it up on Google Earth; these gulleys still mark the region where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel—to name a few—found pasture for their flocks and communion with our God. When I see the apparent barrenness of the cradle of our faith and know how even there they prospered, I rejoice that God “has done great things.”
My life is not all verdant beauty; I see quite a few parched, dry gulleys. My fleeting troubles, however, cannot compare to the true struggles that our spiritual ancestors survived. Today, I will rest assured that God will send life-giving rain to fill the ruts in my life. May we trust that we who “sow in tears” will indeed “reap with shouts of joy.” May we also trust that God will fill every dry watercourse so that we can bring in a joyful harvest to share with all who are in need.
Restorative God, thank you for evidence of your faithfulness, for the promise of refreshing rain, and of redemption beyond anything we can even dream. Guide all of us who weep today to a place where we can find true joy in your presence. Amen.
Go with God.