What makes you weep? 

What makes you weep? Grief, sorrow, loss of routine. A long season of suffering or too long in the wilderness? Is it physical pain, chronic disease, spiritual or emotional?

Dearest Reader, 

What makes you weep? Grief, sorrow, loss of routine. A long season of suffering or too long in the wilderness? Is it physical pain, chronic disease, spiritual or emotional?
Whatever the cause, we can relate to Psalm 137; a lament.
“By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭137:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬
To begin with, Psalm 137 came out of Israel’s exile in Babylon. Babylon is far from Zion, the mountain in Jerusalem on which the temple sat. The temple was God’s dwelling on earth. It represented God’s presence among his people. It was their place of worship, and here, in Psalm 137, Judah was far from that place.
Also, as if that’s not difficult enough, their captors demanded they sing songs of worship. However, they had no interest in praising God. Instead, they intended to mock their God and his people.
Heart-wrenching and relatable.

Also, it feels a bit familiar. 

We’ve been months with our churches closed. And, though our places of worship are beginning to transition from on-line worship to in-person worship, it’s been a long, hard season.
As Believers, the Holy Spirit lives within us. However, there’s something about brick and mortar and worshipping with my community. There’s something to be said for loving one another as Jesus loves us. The beauty in the messiness of broken people doing life together, living the Gospel with one another, and breaking bread together.
I miss my people. I miss my church. Week after week, on-line worship feels harder.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m thankful for these resources. Still, I miss “normal.” The urge to hang my metaphorical harp in the pear tree just beyond our door is overwhelming.
Restraining my tears at the loss of “normal” health is useless. I’m longing for strength and energy, short walks, and sitting in the warm sun.  I beg for days and nights without pain.
Most nights, I weep. Some days I hang my lyre in the willows, refusing to sing.

What makes you weep?

Is it grief, sorrow, loss of familiarity? Maybe a long season of suffering or too long in the wilderness?
How can we sing the Lord’s song amid our sorrow? In our pain and loss? In the dark of night when the unholy hard grows as large as Goliath?
Moving from weeping to joy requires a power more significant than ourselves.
“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Amid the unholy hard, we either learn WHO our source is, or we run depleted until we collapse.

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29&31
We rely on God for strength to bear our burdens and to deliver us from them in due time. As we do, we grow stronger and stronger in our faith, endurance, patience, and fortitude as we rely on God.
Through God’s grace and mercy, there’s solidity in our fragility.

God is our source, and His Word sustains us.

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
“This is my comfort in my affliction that your promise gives me life.” Psalm 119:50
The things of the world will not sustain us in “long seasons of suffering” (K.J. Ramsey-This Too Shall Last).
Satisfaction will last only until the next meal, the next full shopping cart, the next series binge, carton of ice cream, or beverage. Self-medicating will only carry us until it’s no longer there.
 
However, through God’s Word, we have his covenant promise of life, of his steadfast love. We have His eternality.

God’s Word is His Covenant promise to us.

His word fills us, sustain us, transforms, and changes. The eternal, unchanging Word of God and His covenant promises will uphold when our harps are hanging in the willows.
“Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'” Deuteronomy 8:17
 
God is our source, and His Word sustains us. Apart from Him, we are nothing. As our source, God and His Word will uphold us. He is our refuge and our fortress, our God in whom we can trust.
“and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” John‬ ‭1:1‬-3 ‭

If your harp is in the willows or you are in a long season of suffering, look to God as your source and His Word to sustain you.

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Lastly, I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness.

Your Wilderness Guide,

***

*Currently, we are in the book of Romans. I’d love to share my Bible Reading Plan with you, along with my Bible Study Plan. If you are interested, comment below or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

* Catch up here.

*Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotes are in the English Standard Version from Bible.com

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today. Mornings In The Word consists of short devotions and insights for the middle!

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word