“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Tears are not a prerequisite for reaping; however, so often they help soften the soil, allowing the Master to better till it.
Anyone who’s ever worked on a farm or in a garden knows the importance of adequate rainfall. While sunshine is good and helps the crop to grow, moisture is also essential if the plants are to survive. Without it, the ground grows hard and the green leaves begin to grow brown, wilt and die.
Sadly, so many these days have grown quite cold and hard in heart. Many moons have passed since hot tears of contrition and repentance rolled down their cheeks. Perhaps, initially, their tears were many and “their food day and night” (Ps. 42:3a).
But, soon the tears became less and less.
Like a stream in drought conditions, the water level began to recede. Soon bare soil appeared where living water once sprang forth. And, unless the healing rains fell, the once-vibrant, ever-flowing stream ran dry, leaving the ground parched and barren.
Oh, dear Pilgrim, if there was ever a time we needed an old-fashioned, Holy Ghost revival of tears, it’s now! If there was ever a time when “our souls should pant after God, the living God, like a hotly-pursued, dying-for-a-drink deer panted after the water-brooks” (Ps. 42:1-2), it’s now!
Could it be the reason we no longer go forth “sowing in tears” is because we’re convinced we’ll never “reap in joy”? For example: Is there a loved one or friend for whom you’ve prayed many, many years. . .and there’s been no response. . .and you’ve concluded that there’s no use praying anymore?
If so, ask God to once again help you be moved to tears over their condition.
Spurgeon once said “Tears are briny rivulets of liquid prayer that point us to the Throne of Grace.” Therefore, instead of living in passive resignation and quiet despair, we should cry “O God, help my unbelief” and not rest until the “latter rains” come (Dt. 11:14; Joel 2:23; Zech. 10:1; James 5:7).
Plead with the Lord of the Harvest, Pilgrim. Open the valves of your heart and let those long-held, pent-up tears flow. He will “catch them in His bottle and write them every one in His Book” (Ps. 56:8—KJV). Not a single one of them shall be lost.
Then, continue “sowing, plowing, cultivating and watering in hope” (I Cor. 9:10). Do not become discouraged if that loved one will not listen to your pleas. Do not say, as Solomon did, “Vanity, vanity—all if vanity and vexation of spirit” (Eccl. 1:2; 2:17) if the heavens seems as brass and God’s ear unhearing. Take heart, dear Pilgrim, and “Grow not weary in well-doing—for in due season you shall reap, if you faint not” (Gal. 6:9). Amen and amen.