Joy comes in the morning

“Action is the antidote to despair.” – Joan Baez

This was the quote I chose for my Facebook page shortly after graduation and entering the workforce. I was learning how to drive, down Lassen and Woodman, daily trips through the Valley grid. It was a new and different time for me then, as is now.

“We’ve sown in tears, we’ll reap in joy,” is a lyric from Mission House’s latest release called Behold. It’s based on a verse in the Bible, but more on that later. Not only does dancing follow mourning, but there’s an action we must take. We don’t just weep. We sow in our weeping. We sow with hope of return. We sow in faith.

Sow good seed to maximize your crop, sow where it promises to be fruitful, clear the thorns and rocks and find that sometimes God transforms the hard places into soft fertile soil for growth. “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26

Kina Grannis held a Youtube Live concert today. She spoke about the familiarity of this time of anxiety because it reminded her of when her and her band were trapped in Jakarta for 100 days with uncertainty of when their waiting would end and what the outcome would be. She shared one thing that helped is to let yourself feel all the emotions. Other things to do might not help until later on, but you do them trusting they will prove helpful, such as meditating, keeping your body moving, and last of all, she shared a tidbit, do any little thing that might make you feel like you’re moving toward something. She wrote songs that later became her Jakarta EP.

Do something.

Keep in motion.

Stay in action.

Back to sowing. Last year, I learned that when a Psalm is called a “song of ascents” it has nothing to do with musical scales or chord progression. Hannah Brencher sent out an email a couple of weeks ago and she wrote,

The verse comes from Psalm 126. It’s the seventh of 15 in a series of songs that people would sing out as they climbed the steps of the temple in Jerusalem. It’s a song of joy, sung by a people group who experienced exile and are now walking in freedom because of God’s redemptive plan. It was one of those “this feels too good to be true but it actually is true” moments and the psalmist took the time to write down the words that would become Psalm 126.

And then those words, the words I need: Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.

It paints this picture of someone in a wide-open field sowing seeds. Back and forth. Back and forth. Going up and down the rows, all the while weeping because the desperation in their heart is thick and the need for God to show up is palpable. Their tears are the first form of water these little seeds will ever know. It is a reminder that joy is coming… Harvest is coming… if we would just keep going, even when it feels like we are simply going through the motions, then in due time we will experience the harvest. The breakthrough. The armloads of blessings. It will not stay this way forever.

It is the same with us. Things won’t always be the same as they are now. Don’t give up. One thing I’ve been doing is working on organizing my photos from Israel. It’s been an encouragement to me —I’ve seen streams in the desert— and when it’s done I hope it will be an encouragement to all who see it. It’s not over until He says it’s over.

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

– Sandra McCracken, from We Will Feast in the House of Zion

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