Psalm 126 (NRSV)
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with
shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done
great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us,
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the watercourses in the
May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts
carrying their sheaves.
Someone once said, "It is always darkest before the dawn."
It sounds like some sweet colloquialism meant to offer us false hope in times of sorrow, grief, or despair. But, having lived through some dark, dark nights of the soul, I can bare witness to the fact that this statement is very, very true.
I can only imagine what the world was like after so many years of silence regarding Messiah. Was it dark? Had people lost hope? Were they fumbling through life hoping, but not really believing that he would come?
And then one glad day a baby's cries rang out from a barn in Bethlehem and everything changed! The dawn broke for all of humanity. Angels, shepherds, and wise ones heralded the birth of a new king, one who would "restore the fortunes of Zion, fill our mouths with laughter, and our tongues with shouts of joy!"
Advent is all about the transition from the darkest of night, to the bright light of the dawn.
No matter what you may be going through, you must remember that God has not forgotten you. No matter how long you have been waiting "on a word from the Lord," you are not forsaken. No matter how alone you may feel at this moment, God is as near to you as the beat of your heart or the breath in your lungs.
God loves you. God is for you. God has a good plan for you. It may be dark right now, but the dawn is coming!
Soon your tears will turn to laughter and your weeping become shouts of joy! Soon the same folks who comforted you when you were afflicted, will rejoice as you share your good news testimony, "The Lord has done great things for me!"
Be encouraged beloved ones. The dawn is coming. The dawn has come. The dawn is coming once again...
Dear Lord, please help me to hold out believing that my change will come! Amen...