The psalmist asks God to change his circumstances, but he doesn’t give God a deadline. Our instant-gratification culture tricks us into believing that everything changes at the same speed as our state-of-the-art cell phones. Our unrealistic expectations often pave the way for disappointment and heartache.
As we embark on the journey from darkness to joy, we acknowledge that pain and sorrow depart more slowly than they enter. The circumstances of life that leave us spent of energy and joy most often take us down much faster and harder than we can imagine. We fall far, and we fall hard. And then we begin that slow recovery process of regaining our strength, assessing our options, formulating our pathway, putting one foot in front of the other, and maneuvering the journey one hill at a time.
The people in the psalm cry out to God for a restoration of fortune. They recall the dry watercourses of the desert, which fill rapidly with water when the rains come. So the people express their confidence in God’s ability to affect their future, bringing them refreshment in the dryness of their lives. Their anticipated joy becomes a current reality.
The refreshing rains of God’s grace saturate our parched lives. The cherished seedlings of faith sprout, and we affirm, “The Lord has done great things for us.” Our inner being strengthens, and we grow like those seedlings. Our dreams become visions of a hopeful future, and we rejoice.

Thank you, God, for your refreshing rains of mercy and grace. Amen.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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