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Saturday, April 2, 2022
Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 126
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves. (NRSV)
When I think about Psalm 126, I think of a challenging time in my life. I was a working mother of two school-aged children. I worked in the heart of a major metropolis while living far out in a suburb. I was in a new career in finance. I was routinely promoted based on my on-the-job performance and personality. But alas, I was required to take a difficult seven-hour exam to remain in my job.
I detested standardized exams. On this exam I would be tested in areas in which I had never worked and on concepts which intimidated me beyond measure. I worked 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., took a 45-minute train ride home, prepared meals for my children, checked homework, etc., and then studied in the midnight hour. It was a grueling experience. Finally, it was test day. I was underprepared. I took the test and immediately found that I didn’t pass. It hurt. But I couldn’t give up. I studied again. I retested. I didn’t pass—again.
My job was on the line. My faith was on the line. But even as I cried, I dared to dream of passing. Even as I studied under crammed conditions and tackled daunting subject matter, I held that dream. I put in the work and sprinkled in faith until I finally passed the exam.
When we outstretch our hands, God reaches back. When we press forward, we move. We may not know when the blessing will occur, but we have to know it will occur. We have to remember that when we sow in tears we willeventually reap in joy.
Lord, may I always dare to dream even in my darkest hours. May I have courage and strength especially when obstacles abound. May I always remember: they that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Amen.
Written by Michelle Hayes, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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