Psalm 97 v 11

“Light is SOWN for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.”

Sown.

Planted deep. Hidden.

Sown. Nurtured in darkness, nurtured for growth. Growth in darkness, growth in shadows, growth in the place none but the seed can see.

Other translations use different phrasing, but I like the word “sown” here in the ESV.  “Sown” is a verb.  Something is happening here.  It’s dynamic.  

And it’s relational.  There are two subjects involved, a Giver and a Receiver.  Light and joy are being given, being deposited inside someone.  Somebody is doing the sowing, and somebody is receiving the seed.

Something I’ve learned, this past year particularly, is that God is more interested in changing my heart than my circumstances.  He can and he will sow seeds of light and joy into my heart long before anything changes outwardly.

I believe he does love to come through in hard situations.  But I also believe he will deliberately hold off on “solving” a problematic circumstance just for the sake of opening dialogue between my heart and his.

This dialogue is the centrepoint of my existence. Everything about who I am is defined by how healthy or unhealthy it is.

And sometimes, health looks messy.  

Sometimes, health looks like tears.  Health looks like doubt, honestly confessed.  Health looks like raw, bleeding wounds laid open.  Health looks awful sometimes.  It really does.  

But my feelings do not define who I am.  My destiny is not dependent on how I feel, but on who he is.  My destiny is not dependent on my efforts or even my desire, but on his mercy (Romans 9 v 16).

My feelings do not define his thoughts towards me.  

My feelings cannot sabotage his favour.
 
Because his favour is free.

Some days, I am simply not powerful enough to “rise above” what I feel.  But that’s ok.  Because when you sow a seed, there’s digging and there’s mess, and there’s disturbed soil.  

I’m not saying I think it’s healthy to feel sad and disturbed all the time.  But I do think that negative feelings are often perceived as being exclusively threatening when actually, feeling sad and disturbed isn’t always a sign of something going wrong.

There are emotional consequences to bad decisions for sure, but bad feelings don’t always source in bad decisions.  Feelings are signals, not sins.

Sometimes, the ugliest, messiest feelings are simply evidence that God is digging a hole for a new seed.  

AND sometimes…those feelings are evidence that the seed is growing and breaking through the soil.

That new space is opening up for limbs and branches to extend. 

In order for that to happen, there must be this point of contact between the plant and the soil.  What once protected and covered the seed now needs to be disturbed again in order to let it out.  The soil that was level for a season must now be moved aside to make way.  

That’s the nature of both planting and growth.  It produces mess.   In the context of growth, mess should not be handled as a threat.  It’s not wrong or evil or shameful.  It’s not an attack.

It’s evidence of progress.