When Life is Good, Do This
The next time life is good, be sure to take something from it. You're going to need it.
I like peaches. A few years ago, I planted 3 sapling peach trees in my yard. This past summer, they bore fruit. I harvested 3 peaches! A harvest, indeed!
Compared to a peach that you would find at a fruit stand or in a grocery store, my peaches would be the runts of the liter. They were tiny, but I was so proud of them.
Immediately I went inside, took a knife, and cut a small sliver. I wanted to see how my peaches taste. And, they were actually pretty good. I am now the official owner of a peach orchard!
I'm not going to win any prizes for my infant peaches, but I was happy about it. To commemorate my "harvest", I cut out a seed from the center of the fruit and kept it. Tree #4 may be coming soon to the Branam orchard.
What kind of fruit do you enjoy? Unless it is some sort of hybrid, at the center of it is a seed. One seed has the potential to produce decades of fruit and an eventual orchard of trees if it is planted into fertile soil.
Where Sorrow and Joy Meet
In Psalm 126, there is laughter (v. 2) and weeping (v. 6). There is both celebration (v. 3) and desperation (v. 4).
And such is life. In one wing of a hospital is a joyous family welcoming a newborn. On the floor above them is a wife who just lost her husband to disease. In the same building, at the same moment, is both joy and sorrow.
In Psalm 126:6, the joyful and the sorrowful meet.
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.Psalm 126:6
In context, a once sorrowful people have reaped an orchard full of fruit. Decades of desperate prayers in captivity has resulted in release and a joyous return home.
When God gives you the fruits of joy, enjoy it, but harvest the seed. You'll need it. You may need it to be an encouragement to someone else. You may need it in a difficult season. Your joy becomes a fruitful seed when it is sown into the fertile field of sorrow.
When God answers prayer, praise Him. Enjoy the moment, but save the story. Write it down in a Bible or a journal or take a picture to capture the moment. Harvest the seed.
When you become dry and desperate, recall the pic, read that journal entry or that note in your Bible. Remember what God has done. Sow the seed. It will encourage you to stay faithful and encourage prayer. It will bring fruit.
If someone else is in sorrow, support them. Let your joy in the Lord be their strength. Weep with them (Romans 12:15). Sow the seed. Soon you will bring sheaves of rejoicing.
Read Psalm 126 a few times. Perhaps use a commentary to help you better explore the meaning of the passage. According to the passage:
- What do the joyous do?
- What does the Lord do?
- What do the sorrowful do?
Recall a joyous time in your life in which the Lord blessed and/or answered prayer. Preserve that memory by telling the story and writing out a praise of thanksgiving to God.
If you are going through a difficult time currently, use Psalm 126 and your story of joy to write out a prayer to God. In that prayer, sow the seed of the hope God gave you in past joy. Use words like, "God I know you can . . ." "God, I remember when you . . ." Also use Scripture to remind you of who God is and express your confidence in Him in prayer.