Lord, Help Us Keep Sowing

“Our mouths they were filled, filled with laughter

Our tongues they were loosed, loosed with joy

Restore us, O Lord

Restore us, O Lord

by-erdenebayer-Morguefile.com

Although we are weeping

Lord, help us keep sowing

The seeds of Your Kingdom

For the day You will reap them

Your sheaves we will carry

Lord, please do not tarry

All those who sow weeping will go out with songs of joy

The nations will say, ‘He has done great things!’

The nations will sing songs of joy

Restore us, O Lord

Restore us, O Lord”


Ever since I first heard this song, based on Psalm 126, in worship here about a year ago, it has deeply, deeply resonated with me. At that time, I was a young bride, about to celebrate her first anniversary, while her husband was on the other side of the world, deployed in the Middle East. I didn’t have many friends here and no family within a thousand miles. I didn’t know what I was doing. So I was weeping.

 

A year later, circumstances have changed, but many emotions have not; new springs have simply sprung up to spew similar struggles. Seemingly never-ending health concerns (none severe, but always lifelong), car problems, job frustrations… little things piled up and up.

 

I say this not to elicit pity or concern, or to say that there is nothing good or joyful in my life. Certainly not; I have many, many things to be grateful for and I try to count my blessings daily, even when the struggles seem to pile up and overwhelm. Many of my prayers have been answered; some have not. Instead, I bring these things here to illustrate my weeping.

 

From a young age, I was taught, in typical Dutch-Scandinavian style, that emotions are valuable, but cannot hold us back from doing what we need to do. Our jobs and duties don’t change because we are hurting or angry or sad. So we keep moving, and water the fields with our tears, if necessary.

 

This hymn calls back this reminder to me: that even when we are hurting and weeping and broken, the seeds of his kingdom must still be planted, for he is still coming to reap them. There is still work to be done, work to bring about God’s plan. But there is great joy in this, too, not just duty and responsibility. This is a prayer for support and assistance as we pursue our vocation on this earth. We ask the Lord to help us sow, to give us the strength to continue in his mission, because we are not strong enough alone.

 

Our God is faithful, no matter what. Even in these challenging and painful seasons, God is faithful and he is generous. “He has done great things.” He is committed to his people and he will help us do the very things he has called us to do.

 

This song is a prayer that not only asks, but also praises and expects. It asks for help, but commits to the work. “Lord, help us keep sowing the seeds of your kingdom for the day you will reap them. Your sheaves we will carry.” There is participation and partnership in the mission. As a part of that commitment, there is praise and joy.  Although we are weeping, we still know that our God has done great things, that he brings joy, that he brings restoration. We KNOW that he will come to restore us, empower us, guide us. Even when we are struggling, even when the world feels bleak, even when we are weeping, God is faithful, God is good, God is powerful.

 

Our God will fill our mouths with laughter. Our God will loose our tongues with joy.

 

So I will sing songs of joy.

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