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Devotional: February 15, 2021

Devotional February 15, 2021 Monday

It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God returned Zion’s exiles. We laughed, we sang, we couldn’t believe our good fortune. We were the talk of the nations— “God was wonderful to them!” God was wonderful to us; we are one happy people.

And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives So those who planted their crops in despair will shout “Yes!” at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

Psalm 126 NRSV

Sometimes when I read a certain passage of scripture, it seems like it expresses exactly the way I feel right then, at that moment. One part of me thinks that this cannot be, since the scriptures were written thousands of years ago, in a completely different cultural context. Yet at the same time, the Bible is truly timeless. The words speak to all generations, for they are God’s words. His Holy Word never grows old. The Holy Spirit continually uses scripture’s ancient words to speak truth into our lives. What a blessing it is that this fact will never change.

As our local Wenatchee area begins to emerge from the shut down, we are more aware of, and thankful for, the things we did daily before the shutdown without giving it a second thought. Here, the Israelites had lost their country due to political struggles. Now decades later, this Psalm expresses their joy as they return to Jerusalem.

The Israelites are reuniting, and there is talk of laughter, and singing, and seemingly disbelief at good fortune. Mostly there is a sense of being blessed by being together. I am feeling the same way as our church is preparing for in-person worship on February 21st, after our own drought. I pray that there will be much laughter, and music and a refreshed sense of being blessed to be back together.

What makes joy especially invigorating for the Psalmist and his people is the contrast to the prevailing mood and precarious situation only a few months prior. Then, crops were planted in despair… Now, they look forward to joy at the harvest! Then, there was talk of drought… Now excitement builds for armloads of blessings! Heavy hearts have turned into happy people.

All of this is a reminder to us of the Lord’s faithfulness. There will always be trying times. Yet every season of drought is inevitably followed by a time when the rains come, and the drought ends. Joy ensues…

As our pandemic exile seems to be starting to end, my hope is that there will be joy, and blessings, and a sense of thankfulness to the Lord for getting us through this difficult season. We will still have challenges, and we may have some shorter droughts off and on. Yet God’s faithfulness to the Israelites is no different than His faithfulness to us. Hallelujah!

Prayer

Lord, I thank you for your continued love to all Your people, through every generation. Forgive me when I distrust You, and think You have wandered away, assuming You don’t care for me. GIve me the inner strength to trust You, and to follow You through the drought, and on into the days of celebration. May my actions and my words match up, so that both are consistent with the desires You have for me.

I pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, my Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


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