Currently, my Church is in the last days of a called Fast. We've been invited to fast from something and spend that time with God, praying and reading in the Bible, we've been asked to focus on Fear, and the state of our Country and our Church Fellowship. For the past 39 days I've been waking early each morning, and spending time with God. Anyone who knows me knows that I am always tired. I hate getting out of bed in the morning. The dawn is my nemesis. I love to sleep. I also have a thing with time. "What's Next" was Jed Bartlett's favorite saying on the West Wing, and I could identify with him on that. Every day that I work, my time is scheduled by someone else and I constantly look to a piece of paper to see what I am supposed to do next. So for me, giving up 30-60 minutes of sleep, my only unscheduled activity!? Yikes! It sounds small, but it is a sacrifice for me. There were a few days that I wasn't so thrilled to be waking up…but it was statistically insignificant.
At the same time the 40 days began, I began a Bible Study with Beth Moore Called Stepping Up, A Study of the Psalms of Ascents and I started reading the psalms and reading her notes on them, and I began to really be blessed by the words of the Psalmists.
The last couple days we've been working on Psalm 126:
A Song of Ascents.
1When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
3The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad.
4Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negeb!
5 Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
6He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
After each two day period of going over a particular Psalm, we are encouraged to re-write it in a personal application. It is always a good challenge for me because writing is how I process the world.
My paraphrase of Psalm 126:
When Jer and I receive the gifts of God, we will be in a state of fantasy; laughter like that of a child's gleeful joy will spring from our lips.
People from everywhere will notice our complete joy and remark: "Their joy comes from the LORD! How great He's been to them!"
We will sing: "O LORD! You have done this wonderful thing for us! And we are more grateful than our mouths can say, or our hearts can express!"
Replenish the waters of our hearts, like those behind great dams like the ones that tame the Colorado, River.
Those of us who plant with heavy hearts and tears of trust will bring in a harvest of exponential joy.
Even though I plod along suffering as I carry the weight of empty arms, I will surely return skipping with the joy of motherhood; shouting with the effervescence of the greatness of the GOD.
It truly is my prayer, my hope, and my dream to find the goodness and plenty that is in the promise of God. To be patient enough to fully enjoy the things He has in store for me.
I will continue to wake in the morning, and spend time with the Lord, because as a friend at church mentioned, "We don't have to stop!" Sometimes it takes a challenge to do something different to do the things we should always be doing!
I pray for blessings of joy on those who wait with me, those who plod along beside me crying tears of trust and hope, I pray that you will all know the harvest of exponential joy!