Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. —Psalm 126:5-6
Has something ever broken your heart? Have you ever felt that because your heart is breaking, all you can do is weep? Some people can cry at the drop of a hat, but I'm not referring to that kind of tears. Some men are afraid to cry, because they feel that it is not manly. But the greatest man that ever was, Jesus of Nazareth, wept (John 11:35).
Psalm 126 refers to the end of a nightmare: "When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed" (v. 1). In other words, it seemed too good to be true. But while the nightmare was on, they thought it would never end.
A nightmare is an awful thing. I think that some of them may be caused by the devil. The last thing I do before I fall asleep is to pray for the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus upon my family and myself. I pray so every night, because I know the devil likes to seize upon us in our sleep, when we cannot control what is happening.
The nightmare referred to in Psalm 126 was that of Israel living in captivity in Babylon, a captivity that lasted for seventy years. Many died there, and others were born there. The whole time they lived in Babylon, all they could think about was going home.
You may be enduring a psychological or emotional nightmare, where you think you are losing your mind because the depression is so severe and the anxiety so intense.
Maybe you are facing a financial nightmare, being deep in debt. I think of those in our society who are elderly and have to survive on small incomes. It is very sad to think of them being put under that kind of pressure.
Perhaps it is a physical nightmare that you face, where something has gone wrong inside your body and the outlook is bleak.
Perhaps you are going through a social nightmare. You have been ostracized because of the color of your skin or because of your accent.
Here is a promise that is based on a condition. The promise is joy, even success, but the condition is tears.
Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995).