Looking Back in Hard Times

Do you ever have times when you read something in the Bible and it fits your current situation perfectly? I love it when that happens, and it happened this morning.

Psalm 126 begins with these words: "When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. ... The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." I can just see the Hebrew people standing in the streets, cheering as a group of their long-lost friends paraded past. They were so deliriously happy they felt like, "Is this real, or am I dreaming?" They knew where their good fortune came from - none other than the Lord Himself.

The tone changes in verse 4. Apparently things aren't going so well, and now they say, "Restore our fortunes, O Lord." They're suffering some hard times, but they know who can rescue them, and they call on God.

In verse five, we read of their hope. "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weepeng carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." They know that God has been faithful to bless them in the past, and He is going to bless them in the future, too.

What a great lesson for me today. Some things in my life aren't going so well. I've shed a few tears lately. But this Psalm tells me to look back and consider the times God has blessed me abundantly. It instructs me to ask God for His touch in my current situation.

And then it says something really important -- it says to keep on working. Even if I work with tears streaming down my face, I have to still do the work. I have to plant seeds and water them with my tears. And when I do, God is faithful to make the work I do effective. I might cry now, but when these seeds grow, they'll produce a harvest. And then I'll be singing with joy, and saying to myself, "Look how good things are! I must be dreaming!"