For months, I’ve been praying earnestly for a breakthrough in a certain matter. Several times it’s looked like the answer had arrived then the bottom fell out again. Yesterday, discouragement took hold of me – what’s the use in praying? – How long will this situation go on? – Why aren’t you listening Lord? – these thoughts swirled in my mind.
I told the Lord I was worn-out from praying, sick of waiting for answers. This morning my regular reading took me to Psalm 126.
And now, God, do it again –
Bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
Will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
Will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.
Eugene Peterson comments – “It’s clear that the one who wrote this psalm and those who sang it were no strangers to the dark side of things.” These folks knew about tears and suffering.
Everyone suffers. But God knows how to turn our tears into joy. These people left with heavy hearts like mine but came home laughing, blessed. Today, this scripture nourished my soul, that part of me that nothing can reach but God’s Spirit.
Jesus expressed this nourishing of the soul when he told his worried disciples that he had food to eat that they hadn’t yet experienced. This scripture made my heart joyful again and caused me to look beyond my discouragement, to experience joy in the midst of suffering. It also gave me perspective – what a small suffering mine is compared to that of the psalm’s writer.
My faith renewed, I’m praying – Yes God, do it again, rain down on my prayer crops, fill my arms with harvest blessings.