May 25, 2016
READ: Psalm 126:1-6
We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy (v.2).
A group of villagers gathered around a massive rig in rural Uganda to watch as a well was being dug on their behalf. Twelve hours later, when the drilling machine struck water, the men, women and children danced, laughed and voiced their thanks to God for having a clean water source for the first time in their lives.
Thirty Ugandan women and children, many carrying Jerry cans (water jugs) on their heads, came together in front of the well for a picture. Just as I was about to snap the photo, a small bird flew over us. When the children saw it, they squealed with delight and darted out of the picture and into a cornfield to chase their feathered friend.
Seconds later they triumphantly returned with the little bird safely in hand.
It is moments of surprise, such as the laughter and glee that arise from a simple thing like chasing a bird, that cause me to fall in love with Africa again and again. For in those times, I find myself in a living picture of Psalm 126: “We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.” And the “nations said, ‘What amazing things the Lord has done’ ” (v.2).
I marvel as the Ugandans, who have little but still recognise God as a loving and faithful provider, dance and proclaim in essence: “Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!” (v.3).
Like the exiles He brought back to Jerusalem (v.1), God longs to restore our hearts, our minds and our lives. He hears us and responds when we cry out, “Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert” (v.4).
As I watched the water pour from the new well and heard the joyful voices, I thanked God that He continues to bring laughter and refreshment to our parched places.
365-day plan: Jeremiah 36:1-32
Read Psalm 147:3 and consider how God cares for those who turn to Him
How do joy and laughter reveal the heart of God? What good things has He provided recently that you can thank and praise Him for today?