Streams in the Desert
“Restore our fortunes, Lord,
as streams renew the desert.
Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.”
Psalm 126:4-6 (NLT)
This passage is a beautiful word picture of glory restored where sorrow once reigned. We are given an array of scenes to describe the spiritual restoration. Sparkling streams in a barren desert; laboring with bitter tears in contrast to harvesting with dances of pure joy; heavy grief followed by melodious singing. What a magnificent imagery!
If there is to be beautiful streams of cool flowing water, we must be given a picture of something seemingly opposing to make this stream even more glorious in appearance. What could be more opposing to a crystal clear stream of water than a dry, brown, wasteland of a desert?
Restoration involves opposition. How can we truly experience all there is to know of joy unless we have wept those bitter tears of agony? Would the singing be as sweet without the somber sorrow? Would the dancing be as jubilant without the perilous pain? Would the harvest really be as sweet without the perseverance, faith, and cries to our Father?
We are being called to a restoration of the glory we were created for. The image-bearers of our very God-made for Him, by Him. If we want to be that glorious reflecting stream of water, fully alive, flowing throughout a dry land, bringing life to all we touch, we must accept our surrounding deserts. For He made the sparkling streams and the barren deserts alike.