“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” (Psalm 126:5)
In the midst of this chaotic world, it is so easy to get stuck on the first half of this verse and completely forget about the second half. There seems to be a lot of pain and struggle going around these days; and some of it of the totally overwhelming variety. Lots of tears and sadness and sorrow. Lots of sickness and suffering and death. And in the midst of all this sowing in tears, it is easy to lose track of hope. It is easy to become so consumed by our current surroundings and circumstances that we overlook what God might be up to both within us and around us as a result.
Which is totally understandable. Some pain is so raw and so bad and so wrong that it is hard to imagine any good coming out of it, or to conceive of what life might even look like on the other side of it. And that’s okay. Sometimes a significant amount of time must pass after the sowing in tears before we are even ready to try and get to the reaping. It may take months, or even years, before we are able to recognize what God might have been up to in the midst of our agony. But that doesn’t change the fact that he was, and is, up to something. God is so strong and so loving that he can and will bring beauty from our ashes, even if it is hard for us to fathom. And it is the hope of that reaping, either on this side of eternity or the other, that gets us through the day.
Joy is coming down the road, and it is more joy than we can ever ask for or imagine. There will be a day when we will both see the sheaves and bring them home. But don’t ever let the joy of what’s coming, make you miss the reality of what already is. God is here, right in the midst of it. So lean in. Take hold of him. Linger with the things that disturb or disrupt or undo you. You might find God right in the middle of it. Don’t run away. Don’t try to escape or avoid what is hard, if not impossible, to face alone. Just be present to Him who is always present to you, whether you can sense it or not. The sheaves will come, when the time is right. And, believe it or not, there will, one day, be songs of joy.