{RE:} Restored & Rejoicing

Week 5 | Monday: Restored & Rejoicing

This Lent we have been on a journey, longing to see resurrection in so many areas of our lives and world. We are asking "God would you do it again?"  - whatever "it" is only you know. A new sense of passion and vision? Healing? A relationship that needs to be revived? A move of the Spirit in our church and communities?

So far we have "returned" to God, remembered His character and deeds, prayed for renewed heart, mind, and fire, and repented by turning around and running back to God.

This week, we are reflecting on the places in our lives that we long to see restored.
To begin, let's read a communal psalm together.

Read: Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the water courses in the Negev.
May those who sow in tears 
reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping
bearing the seed for sowing, 
shall come home with shouts of joy
carrying their sheaves.


This psalm is a communal song for the people of Israel as they sing about their return from exile. The imagery in this first stanza is so vibrant. Have you ever been through (or perhaps are in) a season where the world seemed to exist in black and white? When you couldn't remember the last time you truly laughed or felt joy?

The psalm says that, when God restored them, they "were like those who dream." If you've even been in a season like I just described, you know that it's almost impossible to dream when you're just trying to make it through the day.

  • Are you able to dream these days? If you are, what are your dreams? What are you looking forward to?
  • If you aren't - how long has it been since you were filled with dreams? Ask God to restore your mind and heart so that you can be "like those who dream."

  • Do you need God to restore your laughter? When was the last time you were able to really laugh?
  • Have you ever been filled with shouts of joy? What did that feel like? What caused it? If it has been a while, ask God to restore your joy. 

Though Israel had been restored, the joy and celebration wasn't always present. Even in the restored land there were trials, seasons of drought, and times of famine. When the psalmist says "restore our fortunes like the water courses in Negev" they are referring to an area in southern Israel that was parched, dry, and desolate most of the year.

But when the rains did come, the stream beds overflowed and the ground was filled with colorful vegetation. Can you imagine what that was like for people who might have lived in that area? The world - which had been dry and dead - suddenly in full color, teaming with life. 

  • We all go through dry season in life - are you in one right now? Are there some places that feel as parched or desolate as the Negev?
  • Pray that God would send fresh rain to the dry and weary places in your life - that you would overflow and be filled with vibrance and see the world in color as if it's the first time.

"May those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy." I don't know what you are walking through in this season. Whether it is you or someone you know, I am praying that the tears you have sown will become shouts of joy. 

  • This morning, cry out to God for a season of revival. For a restored joy. For laughter and dreams. "God would you do it again?"


Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)


Nick Tebordo - April 4th, 2022 at 4:41am

Ignatius’ words lead me to a place of surrender as I cry out,”Lord, do it again!”. I long for revival and renewal-to see people come into the Kingdom of God. I have been to revival services in Toronto and Pensacola. We have had seasons of revival here in Cohoes. I cry out,

“Lord, please do it again!” I want to see my family, our Church, our community, our region and our world on fire with the Holy Spirit. I know that begins with surrender which includes fasting and prayer. “Lord, please pour Your Spirit out!”

Susan Blais - April 4th, 2022 at 5:34am

This is something that I was praying about this morning while I was being taken off of dialysis. But it was not for me, but for my friend Colleen. We visited with Jeff and Colleen Recently end it has been on my mind constantly. Yes cancer Recently end it has been on my mind constantly. Yes cancer has drained so much of the life that I need to be Colleen out of her. I want my friend back! I want her so much to be restored. We spent so much of our lives together, and now it hurts so much to see her. Restore her, oh Lord, and give her back the joy and peace that is Cally. You have done it for me, Lord, now I pray that you will do it for Colleen.

David Edelstein - April 4th, 2022 at 5:59am

Praying for those battling chronic illness and cancer. Also praying for those women and children in exile starting over in other countries with nothing. But they are still dreaming of returning to their devastated homeland and restoring their broken families.

Linda Comstock - April 4th, 2022 at 7:08am

I'm praising God for a restored marriage. It was a parched two years. No laughter, no dreams, no joy, it looked like there would never be an end to the sorrow that was felt. It was all black and white. But God, through His loving kindness, compassion, and gentleness restored, refreshed and continues to resurrect this marriage. There is joy in our marriage and my prayer is that we'll never visit that dry land again. God is good! If you're going through that patched land, just know, believe, have faith, pray and wait upon the Lord, He will resurrect whatever you're going through.

Linda Comstock - April 4th, 2022 at 7:17am

God's ability to restore life is beyond our understanding. Forests burn down and are able to grow back. Broken bones heal. Even grief is not a permanent condition. Our tears can be seeds that will grow into a harvest of joy because God is able to bring good out of tragedy. When burdened by sorrow, know that your times of grief will end and that you will again find joy. We must be patient as we wait. God's great harvest of joy will come.

Melody - April 4th, 2022 at 6:57am

A couple of things stood out to me today.

First, I've never understood e

Me again - April 4th, 2022 at 7:09am

Ugh it's frustrating not to have the ability to delete.or edit here 😂

Anyway... I've been looking at the Psalm completely differently all my life. I always think of dreams (sleeping ones) as more nightmares than something to enjoy. So I've read this as --we've been buried in a nightmare for 70 years, thank God we are awake now! I've read it more as: "we were people who finally woke up (and found joy)". Reading it through this positive dreaming lens, it's even better!

Then, thinking about so many of these founders of the various faith communities who wrote these beautiful prayers... They really lived out their words. Jesuits still live in community, and if they're anything like Franciscans that means they own nothing. They bring all of their wealth, earnings, possessions to the order when they join, and it is distributed for the good of all, after they take care of the community they live and work in. Our last college president was a friar, and his room was no better than the room if any of the other guys. When I had a few students who couldn't afford laptops, the friars bought new ones for four kids--and those four are seniors now, graduating among the top of their class.

I say all that to say-- the level of contentment we see in these early church writers is maybe only possible by laying aside all earthly trappings. I struggle to attain that level of commitment, but am so often distracted by the stuff I have to do to maintain the stuff I think I need or want or deserve.




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