“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6
Believers in Jesus shed tears. Sad things happen in this life. When we’re young we have an idea of how we hope things will be later. Then a child goes astray. Or somebody gets Alzheimer’s. I don’t have to give too many illustrations because if you’ve lived long enough you know what I’m talking about.
I’m not an Eeyore. Jesus regularly fills me with his joy. I try not to dwell on sad things. And I have no doubts that someday Jesus will personally wipe away every tear (RE. 21.4). But until that day, believers sigh, groan under burdens and wonder “how long?” Maybe you’ve shed a few tears lately.
Yet God tells us to keep sowing. Sowing to the kingdom. Praying. Planting good deeds. Serving others. Sometimes in the midst of sadness it feels like God can’t possibly hear our prayers. Sometimes we sow for years yet don’t see any results. We feel like giving up. But God tells us that if we keep sowing – even as tears run down our cheeks – that someday we’ll reap.
But our prayers feel so small. Our efforts so minute and unimpressive. Right! They are. Seeds are tiny. Unimpressive. But they contain life and power that will expand beyond anything we can fathom. Imagine if you’d never seen a tree and someone encouraged you to plant that little oak seed. You wouldn’t be able to imagine the glorious tree with all the branches and leaves that would someday result.
Someday we’ll exchange our tears for shouts of joy.
I don’t know how this is going to happen. But I believe it. Someday our arms will be full of sheaves from the harvest. And our sheaves will be a whole a lot larger than the seeds we sowed. Our prayers that we can barely whisper in our sadness will blossom into glorious fruit.
So don’t stop praying for your wandering child. Don’t stop asking God to help your feeble church. Don’t stop asking God to give you love for that difficult person. Don’t stop praying for your struggling marriage. Don’t stop giving to the church and the poor even though you can barely spare any to give. Keep sowing, though your seeds be soaked with tears. Not one single prayer is in vain.