Way back in the day, when we were young(er) parents of just 2 kids, my husband and I were on a date. Dates have always felt rather like a luxury, and since they always seemed to be few and far between, I had a tendency to put enormous pressure on them. They had to serve multiple purposes, not the least of which was valuable face-to-face time to discuss everything we hadn’t been able to discuss in the reality of day-to-day living with little kids. Our dates weren’t always a lot of fun.
On this particular occasion, I recall my husband asking when we would get back to “carefree” life. I laughed, but also understood where he was coming from. While our early years of marriage, before kids, weren’t exactly carefree (applying to grad schools, being rejected by grad schools, getting paid by the hour, finishing school, living off of student loans), we did have a seemingly endless amount of time together, the freedom to see movies, eat Chipotle, read Harry Potter, etc.
Life with two young boys was stressful and relatively busy. We certainly had no clue that God would add a girl to our crew, my mom would die, our son would have Type 1 Diabetes, our business would fail, our house selling and buying wouldn’t go as planned, and then…another baby. Carefree? What on earth is that?
This month, our church worship leaders released their first album. (It’s free! You can download it here…I highly recommend it.) It’s been on repeat in our van ever since Brenden gave me a copy. Just today, the words to many of the songs struck me in a fresh way. I heard the people of God longing for carefree days. Watch this clip and listen to the words from Psalm 126:
Song 6: “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 are weeping will go out with songs of joy.”
Song 7: “Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!”
Song 8: “When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, I will ever give to Thee.
Land me safe on Canaan’s side
Bid my anxious fears, bid my anxious fears
Land me safe on Canaan’s side
Bid my anxious fears, bid my anxious fears, goodbye.”
Song 2: “Father for Thy, promised blessing,
Still we plead before Thy throne
For the times of, sweet refreshing,
Which can come from Thee alone.
Give reviving, give refreshing,
Give the looked-for Jubilee
To Thyself may, crowds be pressing,
Bringing glory unto Thee.”
Scripture is filled with the groanings and prayers of God’s people in the midst of hard times. They lament. They cry out. They beg for relief. They don’t stay stubbornly silent or simply complain to their close friends. They give God an earful and they ask him to respond. They don’t sugar-coat their real feelings. They assume that God can handle it all – the real, raw, hard, ugly truth. And of course, he can. He knows our thoughts before we do. He sees our hearts. And while he doesn’t always respond immediately, or how we want, he does not remain silent forever. His mercies are new every day. He brings the looked-for Jubilee.
And while we may not always believe it or feel it, he continues to hold us in his hand as we stumble blindly through the wilderness.