Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Psalm 126

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!

Psalm 126
A song of ascents.


[1] When the Lord restored the well-being of Jerusalem,
we thought we were dreaming.
[2] 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.”
[3] The Lord did indeed accomplish great things for us.
We were happy.
[4] O Lord, restore our well-being,
just as the streams in the arid south are replenished.
[5] Those who shed tears as they plant
will shout for joy when they reap the harvest.
[6]
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.






18 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an awesome Psalm. I'm taking Beth MOORE'S STUDY ON THE ASCENT PSALMS. Isn't it a blessing! You are Loved and prayed for often. Stay in the Word!Check out Zeph. 3:17-20, esp.v.17.You're blog is a blessing.
Love, Gloria

THAT GIRL said...

I am obsessed with meditating on the entire book of James as you are with this Psalm. (Joy IN my troubles).

Your seeds of sorrow are surely growing and blooming through your written words... and I KNOW that your harvest is abundant.

Will say a prayer for you and your family tonight.

takingheart.blogspot.com

DerkB said...

Greg,
It's good to see some air underneath you. I haven't called or emailed because this has rendered me speechless. Imagine that? Your picture remains on our fridge. I pray for each of you everyday, (you get my morning commute time). Still not sure what to say other than I'm praying for your strength, especially for those elephants, your encouragement and healing. You never leave my mind. God bless and Michigan hugs, Derek.

daniella said...

I don't know how, but you sure have a way of making me cry. Everytime.

I like your enterpretation of that verse!

Praise God for His undeserving goodness towards us.

maggieallen123 said...

Hey Greg,
I was asking Chris Woods yesterday how you and Nicol were doing and he told me that you spoke to your church Sunday night and that Nicol had sung. He said that you talked about all you and your family has gone through and things you have learned. I remember you saying one time that someone told you that satan wil kick you when you are down...well I can only imagine that he will try to kick you while you are standing up in front of church and telling a congregation how you are making steps toward healing and trusting in God. I feel like he was trying to probably choke you so you can't speak again about the goodness of God and his sweet mercy and grace. You so did the right thing Greg...grabbing the word of God and clinging to those words and those promises...feast on it, plant it, lose those seeds in the fertile ground, and reap the harvest when the time is His time. With Love, Becky G.

Baseballs and Tutu's said...

Your faith is inspirational to me! Thank you for making a difference in my life through your testament.

momof4kr said...

This was an ANOINTED blog entry. So moving and inspirational.

SO thankful for the Lord's Love Letter to us.

Katie R.

Jennifer said...

I continue to pray for healing for you and Nicol. It's so wonderful hearing how God is revealing His loving and comforting presence to you. Keep looking to Him!

Tara Renae said...

Greg,

I have been praying for you and your family everyday. I am praying for peace, acceptance, and renewed joy! How excited I was to see your latest post. Praise the Lord for being our Ultimate Provider!

I am so pleased that you shared that post with us. I am going to print it out and put it on the wall next to my bathroom mirror. I also need to be reminded of the joy God can give to those who weep.

I have been going through such a hard time myself lately and today, after reading your post, I had the most beautiful picture in my mind.

I was on my knees and crying out to God. In the midst of my weeping, the Holy Spirit raised my head and lifted my head. Amidst my sorrow, I felt God surround me with hope.

May God bless you during this time. May He surround you with His peace and joy. May He SELL YOUR HOUSE quickly so you can begin another chapter of your life with more cheerful memories. Though the memories of Lukey will never be away from your heart, the location of utter despair can slowly fade.

Know that you, Nicol, and Summer are covered in prayer, always.

Love and Blessings,
Tara

Angie said...

So happy to see Todd on TV tonight.
I totally can relate to feeling heavy today. For some unknown reason I was feeling low today as well. Sometimes life is hard to process.
Hope you have a better day and get some good news on the house.
Ang

Kristy said...

I do pray for a BIG harvest for you and Nicol, and for many shouts of joy!

Lee said...

Amen

LSM said...

Please, please read Psalm 55 1:7, the Lord led me to this scripture during my Panic attacks and I felt like no one understood, well guess what, King David did, as well as my heavenly Father. I found great peace in this verse, then he led me to Isaiah 41 vrs 10. The Lord has lead me to share these with you, its 6:30 here in california and I just felt the Lord speak to my heart. He knows what we need when we need it!! God Bless you and Hold you and your family. Please share this verde with angie Psalm 55, I read earlier she still has Panic attacks and this will give her comfort as well!

Agape
Laurie

Monica said...

I'm actually attending a study that your sister-in-law Angie is hosting 'Stepping Up' by Beth Moore and it's all about the Psalms of Ascent...I think it's remarkable how God used you this morning to reinforce what He has been revealing thru this study. Thank you for sharing.

Angela said...

Greg,

Good post! This is one of the Psalms covered in Beth Moore's "Stepping Up" study we just finished. She and her husband did some relief work in Angola. While there, one of the people they were working with said, "One of the most frustrating things is that in villages where they receive seed, they often eat the seed rather than planting it and bringing forth the harvest." Beth says, the seed of God's Word can fill our stomachs and give us immediate satisfaction and still not produce a harvest - that's when we eat it but don't sow it. Many times we apply biblical truths to our theologies without applying it to the actual practicalities of life. God's Word is meant to be applied to our reality. We have to get down on our knees in the hardship of our circumstances and apply God's Word to the most difficult places, believing God will bring a harvest.

Eating is easy and immediately gratifying. Sowing is hard, dirty work. It requires faith and patience. Greg, you and Nicol are definitely not just eating the seed in these days of overwhelming grief. YOU ARE SOWING!

Love you,
Sis

KK said...

Praying HE will continue lifting up your sweet family, especially on the 'heavy' days.
Blessings today and always,
Kaye
Psalm 46:10

sheila said...

Sowing is hard. Your words were a great encouragement. Thank you. In God's Love, sheila

Anonymous said...

We are currently studying, Stepping Up in our women's Sunday school class. Zeph. 3:17 was referenced just this week during the DVD segment. I suggest that you insert your name each time the word you appears in this verse (NIV). The personalization makes it even more meaningful and full of hope.

As you begin your day, just imagine the magnification of God's strength and comfort as a result of the many prayers on behalf of your family. It's encouraging to know of the support of others through verbal communication, hugs, time spent together over coffee, pizza, tea parties :) and in numerous other ways. It's part of God's provision to help lighten the load you bear. We love you, Nicol and Summer so much.

Derek's Mum