Daily Devotion – October 18, 2021 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison

Psalm 126
126:1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
126:2 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.”
126:3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.
126:4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb.
126:5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
126:6 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.

“May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.”

When does sadness over time become joy? Every human being on the planet experiences sadness. Might it be comforting to know that times of sadness “plant” something that is reaped later in joy?

Talk to poets and composers and visual artists and ask them about their very best pieces of work. Many will tell you that these pieces that are so much appreciated often come from very difficult times of their lives, periods when nothing went right or when they suffered a tremendous loss. Some will even relate that when they were happy, they couldn’t actually write or paint or compose anything worthwhile.

Perhaps the dark times of our lives put us in touch with deep feelings. Some people turn inward to discover deep things about their own souls in such times. Others turn outward to see how the whole world suffers, and they create art that reflects such suffering. And in the process, some discover how there is light following such darkness. Perhaps it is especially such a time of deep sorrow and darkness which, with time and patience, grows into a time of light and joy. Maybe that is what the psalmist is describing.

May our darkest times bear fruit that we may reap with shouts of joy.

Gracious God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for walking with us through the darkest of times and rejoicing with us when the light breaks through. Amen.