The enormous trees of the Redwood forest rose far into the air above our heads, blocking out the sky and creating the illusion of being deep inside a jungle forest. My family and I spent several hours walking the trails that wove through the forest, pointing out ancient trees that were especially impressive. Some of the largest trees were big enough to hold two or three laughing children for a picture within their hollowed trunks. This was one of the largest Redwood forests in the country: Muir Woods.
As we passed by the visitor center on our way out, I noticed a cross-section from a tree that had fallen several years ago. The cross-section, which was at least 4 feet in diameter, was marked at different rings with dates and events that evidenced how old it probably was. Next to the cross-section was a tiny seed. It was hard to believe that this enormous Redwood tree had grown from a tiny seed.
The other day I was continuing to read through the Psalms when I came across Psalm 126. If you have a few minutes, take some time to read the whole Psalm (it’s not long!), but verse 5 particularly struck me: “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy.”
You might be going through some very painful things right now – things that you never imagined could happen to you or your family. Maybe you have spent many nights sowing your own tears and crying out to God. Let Psalm 126:5 speak to you.
You have been promised that you will reap joy from the tears that you have sowed. Picture that joy as one of the enormous Redwoods in comparison with it’s small starting point: the seed.
How have you reaped joy from your hardships? I know that I personally have reaped closeness in my relationship with God that is a direct result of suffering in my life. I turned to God in a way that I might not have if I hadn’t experienced sorrow from an early age. Those seeds grew into the joy of a beautiful relationship.
I’d love to hear how you have experienced the truth of Psalm 126:5! Leave a comment below and tell me about it.