Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Psalm 126:5 (NIV)
I am reminded this morning that Jesus said the sun shines on both the good and evil, and that rain falls on both the righteous and unrighteous. No matter what path we take or where we find ourselves in our life journey upon this earth, there will be good times and there will be bad times for every one of us. I have learned along the way that the real question is not what happens to us, for we all will have our personal share of both pleasures and pain. The real question is how we respond and what we choose to do with both our blessings and our tragedies.
I want the innumerable blessings that shine on my life to create in me a trinity of tangible responses:
- Gratitude: I wasn’t entitled to the blessing, I need to be thankful.
- Grace: I have been shown favor I don’t deserve, I need to show favor to others.
- Generosity: I have been given much, I need to give much away.
I want the tragedies that I experience, both great and small, to cause me to respond with:
- Patience: Even Noah discovered that rain eventually gives way to sunshine, but I need to let patience grow in me during rainy days.
- Perseverance: When I doggedly press on through the storm, I find maturity, wisdom, and character developing in me.
- Purpose: It may be cliché, but dark clouds do have silver linings. I need to seek God’s purpose for me in the pain.
I have observed along the journey that when I respond appropriately to the circumstances I find myself in, laughter gives way to deeper understanding, and tears give way to joy.