Read Ascent Psalm 126 (preferably the MESSAGE translation if possible).
“Those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing” (Psalm 126:6).
Think of the last time your tears of sadness turned to tears of joy: Was it a failed exam with much better results next time around? Was it when you had “words” with your parents, or your best friend(s), later forgiven and forgotten? Was it fear of losing your job because of a silly mistake, and the manager said, “That’s okay; things will work out!” Worst of all, it feels most awful to have disappointed God.
It is so easy to sit on the edge of despair. Ask those ancient Hebrew pilgrims who were sent away from the Holy City, and their temple, because of their waywardness? Ask them how they felt trying to survive in the foreign land of Babylon? Ask them if they felt their God had abandoned them? Their answers included sitting on the riverbanks of “no-man’s-land” crying the blues (see Ps 137:1-4).
What’s the solution to our messed up moments? Grace! Grace means I deserved less but I got more. Grace means I should have flunked, but I still passed. Grace means someone came to help me and I didn’t even ask. Our Lord Jesus is a master, an expert, and a champion at sharing the gift of grace with us.
Last night I received a telephone call from our family resort manager saying a windstorm had ripped the awning off our fifth-wheel trailer down at the lake. I was expecting the worst! In the morning when I arrived to assess things, I did find damage in need of repair. However, it was nothing like my imagination had envisioned. While putting things straight, two more helpful persons came over to help repair that hole in the roof, sharing some of their own supplies. I felt grace! I returned home agreeing with the psalmist: “God was wonderful to us; we are one happy people.”
Dear Jesus, Your grace in my times of fretting and fears is such a gift. It is amazing beyond music! Thank you, God!