Turn Weeping into Joy
Psa. 126:5 May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
Psa. 126:6 Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.
This is a Psalm for the Israelites as they return from exile. They had hung up their harps in Babylon but now they were picking them up again as they made the journey home. There had been many long years of tears and sadness. They had mourned all that they had lost but through that process God began to bring healing and restoration. They sowed the recovery of that relationship in tears and how they would return home with shouts of joy for God has set them free!
We may not have to spend time in a physical Babylon, but we may have gone through our own personal exile. This could be for a variety of reasons, but the Lord knows our hearts and where we have found ourselves. There has been hurt and pain and struggle. For some it has been a lengthy exile for others a short period of time but whatever the reasons, the exile has been experienced. Now, after a time of repentance healing has come and it’s time to return home.
The tears of pain and agony have dried up but in that awful time of weeping and lamenting new seeds were planted. Those little seeds are beginning to take root and grow up. We begin to see green grass. It’s just a little bit and yet, it’s there. In that little view of green the joy begins to return. The weeping is replaced by joy because of the anticipation and hopefulness of what lies ahead.
The Israelites returned home and a new life and harvest began. The Israel they returned to was never the same as it was before, but there was new life and a new harvest. They built a new temple — not like the one before, it was much smaller, but Jesus came and visited the new one. Returning from our own exile may mean that things will never be the same again, but the presence of Jesus can turn what we have suffered into joy because of his holy presence.
Weeping may last for a season, but the joy will come again as we trust in him.
Lord, may we trust in you and await your joy. Amen.