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.
Its that time of the year around here where rain is a regular thing. Last night and again this morning, we were hit with some major downpours. We aren’t exactly the Negeb, but it can get dry around here. So, as the rains fell, there were small rivers all over the place like the one in this picture from the driveway here at the church. I so loved the line in this Psalm about the watercourses in the Negeb – the idea of fresh and renewing water running through dry lands. I can imagine that so easily – like those times when you’ve been working outside, exercising, or just simply really really thirsty. The refreshment and the rush that comes with the refreshing water is wonderful.
Yet the immediate next line leads to the other side of this idea…may those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. There are so many in the world today who have no access to clean water for any purposes, yet we can just turn the tap on and have as much as we can afford (at least for now). My prayer today is for those who live parched and feel like the dry Negeb and sow in tears each day. May they find renewal, refreshment, and reap with shouts of joy.