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. Psalm 126:5-6 (NIV)
One of my children is away at a leadership conference for school. When I dropped him off, I felt like bursting into song. Not because he will be away for a couple of days, although a kid free weekend is a great luxury, but because of his willingness to learn to be a leader and to do something positive with his life. Not so long ago, I could not have imagined that he would do such a thing. Anger, resentment, and frustration characterized his life. His poor choices and stubborn spirit affected every detail of our lives. He was miserable and unhappy and as his mom, his attitude broke my heart. I really did not know what to do. I wept many, many tears and spent hours in prayer over him. While I trusted in God to bring about a change in him and heal him from his sadness, I got through that time by clinging to a promise that God had made me at my son’s birth. He told me that he would become a great man of God. I knew that God had the power to do it, but in my limited perspective, I could not see how it could happen. I despaired of it ever coming true. I wasn’t sure if he or I would live through that time. When we were in the midst of the turmoil, I just wanted the pain to end and had little patience for the season it took for God to work His miracles. Today, however, we have emerged from that long dark tunnel into brilliant light. He is happy again, back to the sweet, charming and compassionate child that lurked hidden in that adolescent body. He smiles and gives hugs. He is a great companion and fun to be around. We no longer dread back to school night or parent teacher conferences. Instead, we go with eagerness and hear how much others value and love him. Many things brought about the change: prayer, wise counsel, good role models, maturity, talents discovered and a remarkable new school. He still has a way to go to full maturity and we may hit some more bumps in the road as he journeys there. But, for me, those tears of sorrow sown as I wept over him and my frustration in how to raise him have turned into songs of joy. If you are a parent, feeling lost and alone struggling with fear and anxiety over your child, do not lose hope. No matter how dark the night, morning will come. Only God can turn our tears into songs of joy. He knows the time it takes for the seeds to grow into plants. Much work takes place underground out of our sight. The harvest will come, perhaps not in our time frame, but it will be fruitful. God will do it. He has promised. Trust Him when your heart is breaking and you can’t see for your tears. He will be faithful.