Reaping a harvest of joy from our tears

November 29, 2022 by Rev. Erin Hayes-Cook

Psalm 126

When the Lord changed Zion’s circumstances for the better,
it was like we had been dreaming.
Our mouths were suddenly filled with laughter;
our tongues were filled with joyful shouts.
It was even said, at that time, among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them!”
Yes, the Lord has done great things for us,
and we are overjoyed.
Lord, change our circumstances for the better,
like dry streams in the desert waste!
Let those who plant with tears
reap the harvest with joyful shouts.
Let those who go out,
crying and carrying their seed,
come home with joyful shouts,
carrying bales of grain!
Let those who plant with tears
reap the harvest with joyful shouts.

What tears have you shed as of late? Are they still captured inside only to come out at an inopportune time?

I would like to know if you have allowed yourself to take a deep breath and begin to dream the dreams of God for your life and ministry. Our resilience has been tested over these past years. As a spiritual leader of many I know I often feel like I need to be one step ahead so that we might walk together. One step ahead of technology, one step ahead of the spirituality trends of the community, and one step ahead of needs; it is exhausting. And part of the greater call for our lives.

I wonder if our time in ministry right now is a mix of looking ahead and being present. The resilience that is required of us right now might be to rest in what is right now.

Our Creator is able to reap a harvest of joy from our tears. But first we must release them, hand them over to the hands of our Jesus.

There is a seed of joy waiting for you. This seed will grow a deep sense of resilience, a greater dream than you could ever imagine for yourself, your families, and your ministry.

May you reap the harvest.

Rev. Erin Hayes-Cook recently accepted a call to serve as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hackettstown, N.J. She previously served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Rahway, NJ, from 2013 to 2022. She has gained great joy in walking alongside the diverse communities she serves through her local presbytery and synod. She is looking forward to studying for a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Duke Divinity School. Rev. Hayes-Cook and her husband Lawrence welcomed their first child, a daughter, in June 2019.