Going Deeper 4-3-2019

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

One Psalm scholar characterized this Psalm as "Joy Remembered, Joy Anticipated."  These words flow very well from yesterday's reading and devotion, where those who found themselves in a seemingly hopeless situation as exiles in mighty Babylon were urged by Isaiah to remember what God had done in delivering them from the Egyptians and to trust that God could and would rescue them once again.  

The psalmist points to "the watercourses in the Negeb", a seemingly lifeless wilderness area that springs to life when the rainy season comes.  In the same way, when our lives are filled with struggles and pain, we remember what the Lord has done for us in the past and trustingly anticipate that He will restore peace and joy to us.  We may "sow in tears" for a season, but in God's time we will "reap with shouts of joy."  

This is what gives us both strength and peace in times of pain and sorrow.  We remember and we anticipate.  God has promised to never leave us or forsake us, and even to make things "work together for good."  

I will close with the quote from a blog our daughter sent us last night:  As we face the most difficult moments in life, may the truth of Him be enough. May we recognize a Savior who has ultimately made a way for us, and one who is good, ALWAYS, even when what we currently face doesn’t feel so good after all.  Though we may never understand why He does not change our circumstance, that does NOT change HIM. He is still the faithful one, loving, compassionate, and trustworthy. He is STILL GOOD.  (https://herviewfromhome.com/faith-is-god-still-good/)

With You in Him,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."

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