“Those who sow with tears will reap songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seeds to sow, will return with songs of joy”
When I was a little girl, I’d spend a week during the summer with my grandparents. We’d play mini golf followed by a visit to Friendly’s where I’d get a Smiley Face Clown Sundae. Every night we’d play games of cards or dominos and enjoy a bowl of ice cream. We’d spend a day or two at the Jersey Shore and have…ice cream (and these tasty cream cakes that I still associate with sand and sun!) Those memories bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart.
My Grandpa was firm- a strict Dutchman. There were chores to be done and we weren’t to be lazy. I’d wake up early to join him on walks, “help” him in his pristine lawn, my bed was never to go unmade, dishes didn’t sit dirty in the sink and clothes weren’t left on the floor. And every day, we’d start and end reading scripture and praying. I can still hear his voice leading our family dinners in prayer…. (**hold on…tears; I really miss him)
One summer when I was probably around 10, I was to learn Psalm 23 during my stay. ALL of it, before I left. That felt so daunting, but he was instilling in me the virtue of taking God’s Word to heart. Having a close relationship with God meant knowing the words He had for us. So I agreed (like I had a choice, and I’m sure I complained…and whined) & he broke it down. Every day, I learned a little bit more, and if I got frustrated, I was to go back to my room and practice some more until I could recite the section of the day with ease. And by the end of the week- I knew the whole thing and still know it to this day, “shalls” and all!
As I was reading Psalm 126 recently, I was thinking about how helpful this Psalm may also have been, especially through the last decade. I walked through many “valleys of death” and was able to remember that God was always with me with His rod and staff. But what I failed to realize, was that the tears I was shedding, the heartbreak I was feeling, all watered seeds that God would use to bring pure Joy into my life.
So…as I sit here, with my mouth watering for a Butter Pecan Ice Cream (waffle cone…full fat please!), I’m going to choose Joy. I’m going to remember my Grandpa, through tears, with Joy and how much he loved his Jesus. And hopefully the Joy I feel (although not 24/7) is contagious through the stories I share with you here in cyberspace. There are valleys and there are peaks, but God desires for Joy to come into the moments of chaos in our lives…. #AdoredChaos