TO CHEW ON: "Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing
Bringing his sheaves with him." - Psalm 126:5,6
Have you ever thought of your griefs and disappointments as seed? That's what Eugene Peterson suggests they are:
"All suffering, all pain, all emptiness, all disappointment is seed: Sow it in God and he will finally bring a crop of joy from it" - Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, p. 100.This seed doesn't come in paper packets or burlap sacks but falls from our eyes as tears.
An article in my Bible writes about our tears in another way, as ministry.
"Tears in Scripture play a unique role in spiritual breakthrough. Here...the planting of seeds accompanied by a spirit of brokenness will not only bring a spiritual harvest of results but will leave the sower with a spirit of rejoicing. This passage along with numerous others...pictures a variety of purposes and functions related to what might be termed "the ministry of tears." These are:and let me add another:
- Tears of sorrow and suffering - 2 Kings 20:5.
- Tears of joy - Genesis 33:4.
- Tears of compassion - John 11:35.
- Tears of desperation - Esther 4:1,3.
- Tears of travail or giving birth - Isaiah 42:14.
- Tears of repentance - Joel 2:12,13, Dick Eastman, "Tears and Brokenness in Victorious Warfare," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 787.
- Tears that God has seen, collected and that have persuaded Him to come to my defense - Psalm 56: 8,9.
"There is plenty of suffering on both sides, past and future. The joy comes because God knows how to wipe away tears, and, in his resurrection work, create the smile of new life. Joy is what God gives, not what we work up. Laughter is the delight that things are working together for good to those who love God, not the giggles that betray the nervousness of a precarious defense system. The joy that develops in the Christian way of discipleship is an overflow of spirits that comes from feeling good not about yourself but about God. We find that his ways are dependable, his promises sure" - p. 100, 101.PRAYER: Dear God, thank You that even tears have a kingdom purpose. When sorrow, pain, or confusion come, help me to face my situation with faith and expectation, knowing that my tears have a place in Your plan. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.