Author: Ian North
Reflection: v. 5, ‘may those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy’
In my last months of drinking, sobriety looked like the finish line. I dreamed of the peace of healthy guts, the clean feeling of a good night’s sleep, the presence of mind to read and write in the evenings.
When I got to the other side of detox, I realized that all kinds of problems were waiting for me there. I had to get honest about my lack of faith, face destructive relationships, and figure out what to do with my anxiety and despair.
In Psalm 126, God’s people had arrived in God’s city. They exploded in celebrations and songs, wrote the story of crossing over, then found out there was more story ahead.
They made new mistakes, got into new fights with their neighbors, faced new oppression from new empires. Here they are looking back at God’s work in the past and wondering why they’re still dealing with all the same things so many years later.
Sometimes, eternal life seems like a terrifying idea. I’d like to know what I’m aiming at, get there, and be done. But wherever we think we’re going, there’s always more after.
The good news is that today’s pain is part of a new cycle of grace. We walk along weeping now, but the seeds we plant in this season will bloom in the next. That’s how God’s world works.
Prayer Journey with us through the cycles of life, O God. Help us to feel your presence when weeping and rejoicing.