“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5 NIV
What breaks your heart? And brings you to tears? It’s a deeply personal question, but I ask it because God’s word tells us that right there, right at that point of sorrow, there’s an amazing field of opportunity. An opportunity to sow in tears, and reap joy.
So how do we go from heartbroken to happy harvest? How do we plant, and grow, this rare and wonderful crop? We start by understanding that tears alone produce nothing. So, as much as we’d like to sit around with our tissue boxes, we can’t. There must come a day when we get up from our bed of sorrow, walk into that field of opportunity, and take God at His word– turn our faces heavenward, and find out what God wants us to do in light of (or in spite of) what we’re going through. Sowing in tears means just that, we can’t wait until we feel positively sunny before we start. That’s key to farming a field of joy. And, you can begin today.
What’s your pain? Pour it out to the Lord. And ask Him what to do. Then, take His seed of instruction and sow it by acting on what He says. Is God telling you to wait? Then wait, don’t push. Is God telling you to trust? Then trust, don’t manipulate or strategize. Is God telling you to go somewhere and do something? Then go. Do it. Don’t wait for a prettier day. Don’t wait until you are in a better mood. Do what God says, no matter how strange, or impossible, it seems.
God’s kingdom is made up of many glorious fields planted in this way. His mercy pours down like rain upon them. His face shines radiantly on the people who work in them. So take heart little farmer. Take that step of faith. And plow ahead.
Several years ago I quit my teaching job to write a novel. I worked on a manuscript, took it to a writer’s conference and was told that no one would be interested in a story like mine. I was heartbroken. I came home and cried. Now what, I wondered? For days I sat around on a bed of tears. Then I prayed and asked God what to do. I started writing devotionals for the local paper and bible studies for a jail ministry and a Sunday school class. I even wrote a few speeches for our church women’s events. I did my best to sow seeds of God’s love and encouragement into the lives of the people around me. I never dreamed I could be truly happy working in those little fields, but I was. I gained some dear friends. And reaped joy. Joy I never would have known, if I hadn’t cried and sown. Looking back now I see that God was teaching me something very important. He was teaching me to love His story, more than my own. And I do.
Don’t let your tears fall to the ground without a seed. Weep if you must, but sow as you weep. The harvest will come when the time is just right. Don’t worry, you will reap joy. It’s a promise.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6 NIV