I no longer remember the reasons, but our cat once needed to be taken by car from our home to a particular destination, and then returned a day later (which she perceived as a week!). Now, this cat was not one who found pleasure in any kind of restraint or confinement—period! In fact, I think a small herd of donkeys might have had trouble restraining her. After she returned home, we noticed that her food dish in her cat carrier had been thoroughly beaten up, letting us know in no uncertain terms that she was QUITE UPSET—to put it mildly! After waiting a moment or so for her to settle down, we quietly opened the gate of her carrier without her knowing it, stood back, and waited. Several minutes went by before she realized she was no longer captive. As she made a quick exit, she must have thought her freedom could not be real and that she was dreaming! At this point she did not exactly race around the room filled with laughter and singing, but I don’t find it hard to believe that deep down inside, she had a great deal of joy and relief.
“When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen [worldly minded individuals], The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”Psalm 126:1-3
How about you? As a child of God, do you continue on in life as if your deliverance from the captivity of sin was just another occurrence, with little significance? Or is your “mouth filled with laughter” and your “tongue with singing?” This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to laugh and sing out loud all day long, but rather, that your life shows outwardly the joy of God’s salvation that is in your heart. When God led the children of Israel out of captivity, they also considered it to be unreal at first. But when they realized that they were free, they overflowed with such peace, joy, and happiness that even the heathen nations around them recognized that “The Lord hath done great things for them.”
We tend to be like the cat mentioned earlier who was upset with her captivity, and never considered the fact that this arrangement was only temporary. This is why it seems like a dream when God delivers us. We get so focused solely on the situation at hand that we fail to consider that God has a better plan for the future. This is why we need to reflect on all that God has done for us in our life, and not become caught up in what He has not yet accomplished. Jesus said,” A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). What is the abundance in your heart? Can those of the world say of you, “the Lord hath done great things for them”? Why not take a few moments each day and think of all the great things (and little things, too) that He has done for you and say like the Israelites did, “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”