Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sowing, Seeds and Sav'lanut

I've found my new favorite Psalm!  

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD had done great things for us and we were joyful.
Restore our fortunes, LORD, like watercourses in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.
Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed,
he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves.
(Holman Christian Standard Bible)

I have always been partial to Psalm 16 and 40, and have read the above psalm hundreds of times, but for some God-ordained reason, it became very personal to me this week.  This is a psalm about the past (verses 1-3 are past tense -  obviously referring to the children of Israel coming home from captivity in Babylon).  And verses 4-6 are future...and with a promise. I never fully grasped that before.  When we sow in tears, planting seed, we will come back with shouts of joy.  Other versions of the Bible eloquently phrase this psalm so beautifully. You should check them out!

We all had seasons of our lives when we were in captivity.  Suffering, hardships, incredible sadness, and often times in the captive throes of sin. When God in His love and mercy, and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, set us free, our mouths were filled with laughter and we were shouting for joy!  He has indeed been good to us!  And He proceeds to restore us and the desert of our life begins to blossom, just like in the Negev when the streams begin to flow.  Out of the dry, cracked dirt comes life - renewed and redeemed life!

And we look to the future with hope.  I became oh so aware this week of times in my life when I have sown seeds in tears for loved ones.  And I am not exaggerating when I say "with tears"!  Walking the path of intercessory and anguished prayer, pouring our my heart to God our Father on behalf of a loved one.  Never wanting to give up (Galatians 6:9-10).  Staying the course even when nothing ever seemed to change.

As I studied this psalm this week, I realized that in some of those times (not all are finished yet :), JOY did await me.  After praying for my father for 25 years for his salvation and the week before he passed away, he gave his life to the Lord!  Many other scenarios of deep and committed seed sowing prayer to see lives changed have marked my journey from Babylon.  I have taken (literally) the seed of the Word of God (the Bible) and prayed the Words over my loved ones.  And NEVER FORGET the seed sowing, Word planting, prayers into my own life to see me set free from struggles and that which tries to hold me captive in the past and present.  How many times I have had to "die" to self in order to be set free? You too?  Hopefully, I am not alone in this...   

And...after every death comes a harvest.  That is a promise!  When we, like the children of Israel, go forward weeping, sowing the seed (of prayer, God's Word, repentance, forgiveness, giving, service...), we will come back with a harvest of JOY.  The Message Bible says "So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest.  So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing."  A harvest of JOY and LAUGHTER awaits us!  But it doesn't necessarily happen overnight and not always the way we thought.  (Have you ever planted a seed or plant to have it come up or blossom totally different than what you envisioned?  Not always what we planned, or maybe even "wanted", but in God's way and timing....always GOOD and with PURPOSE.)

The Hebrew word for "patience" is sav'lanut and the same root word gives rise to words that mean to suffer (sevel) and bear burdens (sivlot).  Patience isn't always comfortable and the burdens we bear or suffer can be extremely painful. But as we discover in this journey we are on, usually the good things of value in life come at a cost or a price we are called upon to pay.  We go forth sowing seed in tears and come out at the harvest (in God's perfect timing), with JOY and LAUGHTER!

Psalm 126 finishes as a promise!  As you are sowing seeds, steadfast in your "sav'lanut", remain faithful (patience, by the way, doesn't necessary mean sitting can be patient and still be sowing, aggressively in the Spirit, I might add).  And dear friend, please don't become weary, because someday in your future there is a party of JOY and LAUGHTER.  A party you will want all of your friends to be invited to! This is a PROMISE, because GOD IS GOOD!


Post a Comment