I woke up this morning feeling weighed down, heavy, sort of like something very large was sitting on top of my chest. I check for elephants and cannonballs. Could it be an H3? Negative. None of the above. Deep breath. Exhale. No relief. Another gulp of air. Ok, this time let it out slowly. Nothing. Pressure still there.
So I grab my iPhone. lay down on the couch, and begin to read in the Psalms, starting at around 120, I think. Then I get to 126. Wow. I read it again. And again. And again. I read it in 9 different translations and paraphrases! I can't stop! (No kidding... see biblegateway.com)
The heaviness begins to lift.
The Lord does restore! He does refresh! Sometimes to the point where it feels like a dream! Can this be real? You shout for joy! You laugh out loud! Other people notice that God's doing something!
At least that's what the psalmist experienced.
Now I have to be honest here, I didn't do any jigs this morning. No bursts of laughter. No shouts of joy. But I was deeply encouraged. Deeply. Hopeful too. Especially because of verses 5 and 6.
Sometimes we have to sow our tears because it's ALL WE CAN DO. We have to sow our grief. We have to sow our discouragement. We have to sow our depression. It's the work God has for us for RIGHT NOW. So sow it, because He PROMISES that when it's time for the harvest, those same folks who sowed in tears will reap with SHOUTS OF JOY.
The Bible says that we will reap what we sow. Not in this case. God turns this stuff upside-down. He can take our heaviness and pain and anguish and depression and sorrow and transform it into light-hearted freedom and soul-deep pleasure and contentment and joy and happiness. As Peter wrote, ...the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. True, we will see that promise fulfilled in the future, but He can do "in the moment" too.
He did it for me this morning!
Hey, friends. Listen up. All of you. Over here. Can you see me? Can you hear me? Are you listening? If you are tired and worn out and beaten down and flat out not up to the challenge of carrying your load, I'm here for you. Now come on over and see me. I have something I want to give you: REST. (Matthew 11:28, my paraphrase)
Thank you Jesus!
A song of ascents.
 When the Lord restored the well-being of Jerusalem,
we thought we were dreaming.
 At that time we laughed loudly
and shouted for joy.
At that time the nations said,
“The Lord has accomplished great things for these people.”
 The Lord did indeed accomplish great things for us.
We were happy.
 O Lord, restore our well-being,
just as the streams in the arid south are replenished.
 Those who shed tears as they plant
will shout for joy when they reap the harvest.
 The one who weeps as he walks along, carrying his bag of seed,
will certainly come in with a shout of joy, carrying his sheaves of grain.