“Light is sown like seed for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” Psalm 97:11a NASB
Each time I read through the Psalms during the past few years, this verse seemed to jump off the page at me. Then it began shouting to me until I could no longer ignore the words that kept building up inside me.
I used to carry and read the New International Version of the Bible (NIV), but now I use the New American Standard Bible (NASB). It is a personal preference of mine - the translation is word by word instead of thought by thought and I often get a clearer picture of what the Lord is trying to tell me. When I looked this verse up in the NIV I found out that the words “like seed” were not there. And to me, those two words give a whole lot of meaning to the verse. They are the ones that set my thoughts in motion.
The picture of light and gladness being sown like seed is what has so intrigued me. I picture the Lord with a seed bag over His shoulder walking through the fields of life, reaching into the bag, and tossing out handfuls of glittering “light seeds” – seeds that sparkle like diamonds in the sun. He laughs joyfully as he reaches in for another handful of seed; however, this time He draws out seeds of gladness – tiny iridescent bubbles of joy - and strews them among the light seeds. He keeps walking and planting, never running out of seed and never growing weary from His labor. His face is filled with delight and He chuckles as He thinks of the blessings His children will receive as the seeds grow in their lives.
As I pondered this picture, I thought of the Jesus’ parable of the sower in Luke 8. I began to wonder if seeds of light and gladness fall in places where they will never grow to their full potential. I was convicted of the fact that there are times when I intentionally keep them from sprouting in my life. Now the picture changes from joy and light to frustration with myself. But that frustration, when followed by conviction, can be the means by which I open myself to the Lord and allow the seeds to grow.
I want to be the fertile ground Jesus refers to in His parable. I so desire the light “seeds” and joy “seeds” to grow in my life. God has given me times of joy and light during the dark days I find myself traveling through since cancer claimed the life of my husband. I am very thankful that He has given me the ability to realize He is still planting seeds to grow in my life…now it is time for me to let them! For each of you reading this, my prayer is that you will allow them to grow in your life, too.
When the Lord first brought this verse (Psalm 97:11) to my attention, I had the idea of writing a book of devotions about joy and light. However, this would require a lot more effort than compiling devotions I had already written. My tendency to procrastinate or to find myself too “busy” would snuff out the good intention to write. I did what I very often do when faced with a dilemma – took it to the Lord. He gently reminded me that the light and joy “seeds” were scattered among everyday life.
We all have times when we need light; we need the Lord to open our eyes to see His truth and to let it overcome the darkness of the world around us. We have times we need to be admonished to do the right thing and we also need to find encouragement to be overcomers. Sometimes we are in dire need of a good dose of pure and unmitigated joy. Life can be so very hard. A season of laughter works wonders when it comes to refreshing our spirits – it helps us be better able to go on with living.
I am thankful to the Lord that He gave me the ability to find light and understanding in the middle of everyday things. He has taught me so much using the world around me as His instructor. I am blessed to find His joy surrounding me as well. It still amazes me how He can provide times of rejoicing during my most difficult days.
This book of devotions is filled with things I have learned from what could be considered some unusual sources. It also has moments of humor – sometimes they come with a lesson and sometimes they are meant to be nothing more than a source of amusement which (hopefully) brings a smile to your face and laughter to your soul.
It is my sincerest wish that through my experiences, you will discover ways that the Lord can speak into your life; that you, too, can learn to grow Seeds of Light and Seeds of Joy.