Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sowing in tears...reaping in joy

I am blessed to be leading a bible study for several of the girls on the Alabama volleyball team.  

I find this opportunity ironic as I am far from feeling spiritually stable these days... but God opened the door and, trusting Him, I walked through.

We are currently making our way through Beth Moore's "Stepping Up" study which takes a deeper look at the psalms of ascent (Psalms 120-134).  I truly hope that God is using this study to teach the girls a little more about His character... but I am also find that He is using it to draw me into scripture, giving me an anchor even when my heart feels at sea.  

Psalm 126 is our focus this week.  In his commentary, James Limburg describes the perspective of the psalmist as coming "from a people who are living between the times, between a good time remembered and another good time hoped for."  Scholars believe that the psalm refers to the Israelite exile to Babylonia.

Exile...  sometimes that is how I feel.  Separated from all that is familiar and comfortable.  Denied the blessings that I so desperately long for.  Knowing that this place is not my Home.  Missing Noah.

Beth Moore asks, "Have you seen wonderful works of God in the past but could really use one now?"

Yes.  A hundred times yes.

As I read her question, tears came unbidden to my eyes.  (Particularly embarrassing while I sat in a crowded Starbucks this Saturday morning.)  I kept reading, hoping to find wisdom for surviving in this "in between time."  Here is the next paragraph:
Take heart that God sees you and is moved by your plight.  He still performs wonders.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  Profess you belief to Him daily that you will see the evidence of His gracious hand and, like the psalmist David, stay confident of this:  "I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD" (Psalm 27:13-14).
Now the tears flowed freely.  As you may know, that verse graced the prayer cards we passed out after Noah's diagnosis.   It was a verse I clung tightly to during his life.  It is a verse that God brought me back to this morning to remind me of His perfect plan and promises.  

"Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy."  Psalm 126:5


Jen said...

I'm glad you're feeling God's presence. I think a person of strong character, like you, who is in a spiritually vulnerable place, is probably the best person to lead a Bible study. What an example to young women. And by that I don't mean that you should pretend all your spiritual needs are being met, and you are okay with everything, but I feel certain your guidance is laying a foundation for these girls -- a really solid one that will serve them well as life gets tougher for them.

I appreciate that you wrote out your take on this scripture. Obviously I've read Psalm 27:13-14 a hundred times before, but I have never understood it the way I do tonight. I guess I never gave it any thought before. Anyway, thank you!

the Hansels said...

still praying for you daily.

erin said...

Thanks for sharing this friend. I needed to hear it this morning. As someone you have led before I know that those girls are truly blessed to have you. You continue to follow and seek Him and you encourage me by watching you. Love you.

Christina (aka - Tina) said...

Deb -

I continue to be inspired and humbled by your story and your blog entries. That verse is exceptional and comes to me at a difficult time as well. I find myself asking for God's grace often these days. I see others that are blessed and I wonder - when will it be me? I know that I have to continue to pray and find the strength to be a good friend myself and rejoice in their happiness. Your verse was perfect.

I think of you often and pray for you even more.

Your blog friend,


Jan C. said...

Deb, I was doing this same study at this same time last year--back when dear Auntie Dor was going through her cancer treatment and severe illness and when sweet Noah was first diagnosed. How unprepared I was for what that next year would bring.....but God wasn't. There were times I used the study to rant and rave at God, times when it sent me to my knees in tears, times when I was overwhelmed with humility and gratitude. Ever since, I find I go to the Psalms in all the seasons of my life. How blessed you and I are to know a God to whom we can take our every need, mood, attitude, and feeling and KNOW that He always welcomes our communication with an infinite, palpable love firmly based on the intimate knowledge only He has of us. I know that you will be so blessed by this study and that you will bless those girls privileged to sit under your leadership.

Amy Barrett said...

You are the perfect person to be leading those girls. Your authenticity in scouring the Scriptures and clinging to His promises will be life giving to the girls in the study. Thanks for writing out this study. I learned a lot from it this morning. I think I'm going to go spend some time in the Psalms in just a minute. Love you!

Nicole said...

What a blessing you are to those young women in that Bible study.

I came upon your blog tonight as I've been searching - I am lifting you up to the Lord. We have not experienced a loss such as yours, but have experienced 4 losses through miscarriage. The Lord is leading me to start a blog for ladies grieving their babies through focusing on God's Word. Here is the site:

I will continue to pray for you as you grow in God's Word and walk the path of grieving. I can see the Lord is using you in mighty ways. God bless you.