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The Lord will Restore You, like Streams in the Negev

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy”

(Psalm 126:1-2 TNIV)

Summer is a time of immense fecundity, where nature is restored to fullness following the falling away and death of winter. Restoration in individual lives after seasons of loss can be even more profound and necessary than what we witness in nature.

Psalm 126 visits Israel after a time of extreme loss. It is possibly the return from their enforced exile to Babylon, a heartache lamented in Psalm 137, when the Israelites render a sweet yet searing soul cry to God: “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion...How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” (TNIV). Yet in Psalm 126, the psalmist unfurls their restoration, a return to Zion, a return to self. Here is hope not only for the losses beyond our control, but also for those born of our own error.

This pandemic season has presented a paring back in many lives; at the very least from social interaction and offered everyone a glimpse of loss. Yet many of us have inhabited seasons of loss, or even multiple losses, long before the pandemic dawned; seasons where the securities, structures and joys of our lives are shattered. I travelled such a season these past years when burnout gave way to a loss of full health, of career, of society, of income. In such seasons, we voyage through the cruel crash of initial loss, the slow steps of recovery, a faltering rebuilding before reaching restoration. These seasons take time and our reflections through the watercourse will undulate; perspectives on loss transforming from raw emotion and anxiety to reviewing loss from a more detached position of restoration.

Loss meets us in many forms: bereavement, job loss, poor health, falls in status, financial ruin, broken relationships, lost homelands, empty dreams. Even as we arrive at restoration, loss remains a poignant pathway: progress is sweet yet sometimes tinged with the sadness of what we once had, what we once were. For indeed, we may still at time need to pick up our loss and re-examine its impact, even from our place of healing. In such moments of vulnerability, I take hope from Psalm 126; that though we dwell or have dwelt in the valleys of Psalm 137, we serve a Lord who surely restores.

Loss is never easy. Yet I know from my personal journey that, when placed in God’s hands and approached with a willingness to shift perspective, to accept rather than always understand, he takes the fallen pieces of our lives and rebuilds them like the walls of Jerusalem. The Lord will restore you, like watercourses in the Negev. It may not be how you expected or when, but He will restore your fortunes. He will restore you (Psalm 126:4).

For further reading: Jeremiah 33:6-9 and 12-13.

Copyright © Sharmila Meadows 2021

Scripture quotations taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, TODAY’S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 2004 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, a division of Hodder Headline ltd. All rights reserved. “TNIV” is a registered trademark of International Bible Society.

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תגובה אחת

Dear Readers, I would love to hear your thoughts on this Scripture. Does it resonate or give you hope?

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