Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them. (Psalm 126:5-6)
This Psalm promises that sadness will turn to joy. When we have a sad season in our lives, God often walks us through it and moves us on to a cheerier time. But what happens when we don’t see an end to what saddens us?
Then, we can look through the Psalms like a telescope, zooming to the future: we have a blessed hope that will be filled beyond our own lifetime here on this earth. Then our joy will be full and permanent.
This “telescope effect” is an antidote to a teaching that’s popular nowadays that says you are guaranteed a joyful and healthy life now if only you have faith. According to this bogus teaching, if you lack a joyful and prosperous life now, that means you don’t have enough faith. And that lack of faith is your fault.
Today’s passage helps me deal with the end of my being a serious competitive runner. Because of developing atrial fibrillation, I no longer have mighty power in my legs. I am now more of a jogger than a racer. My cardiologist says it will never be healed in my lifetime. He is probably correct…. and no, the persistence of the problem is not my fault for not having enough faith!
Do I miss competing and winning medals? Yes. But I really am not nearly as upset about it as I would have thought I would be if you had told me this two years ago. Why? Because God keeps providing. One example: He gave me a new volunteer assignment serving the Board of our church…what a useful way to redeem some of the time I would have spent on my crazed competitive running.
I can’t rack up medals anymore, but I’m glad that God keeps providing grace. The joy that gives is an amazing preview of what eternity will be like when we’ll have joy beyond measure.