“Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.” vss. 4-5
Many of us have learned through bitter experience that when our smart phone or computer is malfunctioning, the first step in recovery is to reboot, to shut it down completely and then start it up again. Occasionally that works! Service is restored and we are ecstatic! The psalmist seems to have been looking for just such a reboot for Israel. He knew that in the past God had showered incredible blessings on their land, but now things were messed up again. And so he prays, “Restore our fortunes, O Lord.” Turn our tears to joy! Most people can identify. Though each of our lives are different, there are generally times when things go particularly well. Happiness abounds, or at least it seems to! But it doesn’t take much for things to go sour. Sometimes it’s user error, but often bad stuff just gets dumped in our laps. Illness comes, jobs disappear, families disintegrate, and at those times, like the psalmist, we pray for a reboot, a restoration of fortunes. What we often discover is that those down times, the reversals of life, are actually the seedbeds for growth, and our tears provide the nutrients for prosperity. We are never abandoned by God, and as shown in the life of Jesus Christ, even suffering can lead to restoration and resurrection.
Thought for the Day: What were the happy days of my life?