“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5
Living a Christ centered life is not always easy. Jesus never promised this life would be easy but he promised we would overcome if we trust in him and walk in his ways. That is not to say that there is no joy in serving the living God; but like all things there is bad as well as good and you can’t have one without the other.
This verse speaks about how we should remember to look ahead of our struggles and that the tears we shed today will be like seeds that are planted in a field that we toil and suffering will rise to a great harvest of joy and thankfulness. In the end all wrongs will be righted and hope will be restored. And our weeping, which may endure for a night, shall become joy in the morning.
The pattern of trouble, trust and triumph interact with each other, ideally these patterns are flexible with each other and there is balance and wellbeing. However, trouble is particularly powerful can overpower trust and triumph, initiating strong emotions, instinctive responses and blocks rational thought.
It is impossible to force seeds to grow. They grow with time and hope. If we in frustration stomp on the plant, it will probably not survive! Impatience with the process can ruin things in minutes. Frustration, anger, bitterness and resentment are powerful emotions.
God looks carefully at our hearts. So how do we pause and inventory our day and how can we process these emotions so that we avoid trampling on the plants?
Quick Heart Check
1. The best thing that happened in the past day was ________
2. The worst thing that happened was ________
3. If there was anything that happened that I wish I could go back and handle differently, it would be ________
4. The one word I would use to describe how I am feeling is ________
If the way you completed any of these statements indicates your heart might need some attention, don’t ignore it! Take time to journal about what happened, validate your feelings and ally yourself with the truth.
In the book of Psalms we see a pattern shown to us by David as we take time to attend to our heart, which in turn deepens our relationship with God. David was very real with circumstances. He did not try to deny or spiritualize them. He gave us an honest evaluation of his situation, thoughts and feelings regarding them. After openly and honestly pouring out his heart about his situation, David brought God into the situation by saying something like “but you oh God are my strong tower,”
Using David’s pattern
1. Describe what is going on in your situation. Don’t sugarcoat it; be brutally honest.
2. Write down how you feel about your circumstances. Include whatever thoughts are bouncing around in your head. Write out your feelings surrounding what happened.
3. Be honest with yourself. Admit that you can’t handle the situation on your own.
4. Comfort your own heart by telling it whatever it needs to hear. Release God’s truth about you to yourself, including how He loves you unconditionally. Remind yourself that He is living right inside of you and that He has a perfect and complete solution for your situation. Affirm to yourself that no matter what happens, you will be there for yourself and that everything is going to be all right.
5. Take your situation to God, acknowledging that He is the only true answer. Repent for ignoring Him and for trying to come up with your own solution to the situation. Express your desire to God to let Him have control of every area of your life.
6. Thank God for His perfect and complete solution, whatever it is, even if you can’t see it at this point.
Lord, I commit to gardening the seed you have put within me. I commit to faithfully renew my mind over and over the reality of Your life in me. I commit all things and situations as raw material to exalt Christ and glorify God.