I spoke at an event last Monday, and the theme was “April showers bring May flowers.” That familiar phrase influenced my choice of what Bible verses to read today, and those verses inspired our declaration, which is like a blast of sunshine after a storm.
The thing about nature’s seasons is that they come and go within a limited amount of time that can be measured. The rainy season comes, and while it’s true that some years the clouds linger longer than usual, eventually the sun does come out and the trees and flowers bud with new life and vibrant colors. Ground Hog Day serves as a reminder that no matter how fierce of a winter we may have endured, spring is coming and summer will follow.
Seasons of life are not the same as nature’s seasons. When you stop and think about the seasons of your life, I’ll bet you’d agree with me that they cannot be measured in weeks like winter, spring, summer and fall. Not only can certain seasons of life last for years and years, sometimes life snatches us from a warm spring day and drops us deep into the chill of winter—a winter with no Ground Hog Day to mark on the calendar like a bright spot.
Psalm 126 makes the pilgrimage through the seasons of life brighter because God promises a harvest of joy. The Israelites spent 70 years in exile. But God spoke through His prophets and gave them hope for their future. While I’ve never been in exile, I can identify the happy sound of Psalm 126:1-2.
“When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem it was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.” (NLT)
I love the happy endings in stories like Job, who came out of a devastating season of life with even greater blessings. And Ruth, who–after being widowed and leaving her homeland—met and married her Boaz. My own story also testifies to the faithfulness of God to bring me out of difficult seasons. I’m so thankful that God’s grace has sustained me through long periods of unwelcome weather.
You and I may plant in tears, but we will indeed reap a harvest of joy because our God is faithful, loving and kind. If you’re in a tough season right now, I encourage you to read the Psalms. They are filled with reminders of God’s goodness and compassion. You may not be able to count off six more weeks until your winter is over, but you will be held securely in the loving arms of your Heavenly Father, who has promised you a harvest of joy.
The first ten episodes of my video podcast, “Find Joy” walk you through my book, Longing to Belong, and the entire series is now available for viewing. Learn more on my website at shawnamariebryant.com.
This week’s scripture: Psalm 126