Now that this difficult year has come and gone, I've had time to reflect on how I've walked through it all. I have to admit that I struggle to feel that I did it in a manner that brought any glory to the Lord. It feels as though I've been selfish, inward focused, and just plain ol' uninvolved in the lives of those I care about. I feel disappointed in myself for not allowing the Lord to work in and through me more. I've been reassured by some that this is not the case, and can see and agree on some levels. But, all in all I've been so discouraged by this. I come by it honestly, though, as my Dad has expressed struggling with the same issue:) It's good to hear that from him b/c it makes me feel understood, but also b/c it forces me to speak the same truth I passed on to him, to myself.
I've been re-doing "Jesus, The One and Only" by Beth Moore this summer with a new, dear friend here. During the video session yesterday, Beth taught through The Sermon on the Mount. When she got to verse 21, "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh", she talked Psalm 126:3, 5-6. Here are the verses:
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
She talked about how when we are crawling through life (picture being on your knees weeping), that if we'll plant seed (the Word of God) in our hearts, lives, and the lives of those around us as we crawl, it will be watered by the tears that are falling from our faces. I love that image.
There are many times that I have been crawling through life this past year, weeping along the way. But, I do feel as though I have carried seed (God's truth) with me...at least in my own heart. I guess I just hope that maybe somehow God can redeem the places I neglected to plant seed in the lives of others....friends, my community, etc. Because while I'm gathing some sheaves in my own life, I don't want to have to live in the regret of not sowing all out for Him.... for that IS, after all, what I desire my life to be about.
But, of one thing I am certain.... "the Lord has done great things for us", and for that I am "filled with joy".