The Bible talks a lot about sowing and reaping, often within the context of sorrow and tears. Let’s look at a precious little verse tucked away in Psalm 56:8 which gives us great insight into the compassionate heart of God… “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” What a mind-blowing thought that the Creator of all heaven and earth cares about every single tear we cry! The thought that He takes the time to collect them and record them is an incredulous concept! So friends, we don’t have to be afraid to cry. We don’t have to ‘bottle up’ our own tears because the Lord is doing the job for us. He gathers them close to His heart and desires to use those tears to bring healing relief to our souls and to water a great harvest!
It is a principle that before any harvest comes the growing. Before the growing comes copious amounts of feeding and watering. Before the feeding and watering there had to be the sowing of seed. But remember that before the sowing, there must have been a plowing of the soil to make it soft and receptive to receive the seed. To plow means a breaking up, a tearing apart of the ground. For many of us, our lives have already been ‘plowed up’ by all kinds of suffering. In various seasons, our lives can be likened to plowed up soil – broken open, bloodied and raw.
The plowing of our hearts can come in many forms – some of it intentional, some of it accidental, some brought on by our own actions and some totally out of our control. These verses in Psalm 129:3-4 present us with a graphic picture of oppression and abuse… “Plowmen have plowed my back and make their furrows long. But the Lord is righteous and he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”
Whatever has caused the deep furrows in your life, please know that through your tears, you have a choice in what you will now sow into these wounds. We can sow all manner of things into our souls during these vulnerable times. One thing you can be sure of is that the open soil will eventually be covered over again. Friends, here is a warning… even more pain awaits us if we sow sin and bitterness into our furrows. The harvest that comes from this kind of sowing will include destructive weeds and strangling tares that grow rapidly.
When this happens, we have a tendency to ‘mow them down’, when they pop their heads up, rather than allow the Lord to uproot them. How better to sow godliness and truth into the wounds in the first place! Jesus tells us clearly that the seed in the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:)) is the Word of God. This precious eternal, life-giving Word is what we want to plant into our lives during times of great distress. This Word is what will produce the harvest of peace and righteousness – a harvest of eternal fruit that will last forever to the glory of God!
This week as I looked into our Psalm 126 in more depth and meditated on all this weeping and sowing stuff, more revelation came. Bible teacher Beth Moore encourages us to BE Sowers of the Word for indeed there is a spiritual law of the harvest, just as there are physical principles (Galatians 6). She urges us to not just ‘eat’ the seed that has been given to us (as we all tend to do in order to experience some immediate satisfaction) but to SOW the seed into our hearts.
And how do we do this sowing? We sow the Word as we believe it, take it to hearts and live it! Sowing the seed means applying it to our reality right now! I can testify to the truth of this principle. I saw it work out in the life our girl as she sowed into the deep furrows of her suffering. I can see it working out in my life as I apply the truth of the Word to my everyday life – believing it and living it out as the Lord gives me strength to do so. How about you? Will you also take up the challenge to resist sowing meaningless, temporary things into you life and BE Sowers of the Word?
Lord, I can’t seem to stop crying. I ask you to freely pour out my tears that You have lovingly collected in your bottle. Use them in whatever way you choose to water and refresh countless hearts hardened by grief and pain. Help me to sow the seed of Your Word into my life, not just eat it or discard it. Jesus, Lord of the harvest, as I do this I look forward to the joy You promise. Please use my pain and send out many other weepers to joyously gather in the abundant harvest You promise for the sake of your glorious Name!
Songs to encourage you:
Questions by Steven Curtis Chapman
“Lord is it true that you weep with those who weep and for every tear I cry, you cry a thousand more?”
Psalm 126 by Sons of Korah
A quote to inspire you:
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
“Hence, present distress must not be viewed as if it would last for ever: it is not the end, by any means, but only a means to the end. Sorrow is our sowing, rejoicing shall be our reaping. If there were no sowing in tears there would be no reaping in joy. If we were never captives we could never lead our captivity captive. Our mouth had never been filled with holy laughter if it had not been first filled with the bitterness of grief. We must sow: we may have to sow in the wet weather of sorrow; but we shall reap, and reap in the bright summer season of joy. Let us keep to the work of this present sowing time, and find strength in the promise which is here so positively given us. Here is one of the Lord’s shalls and wills; it is freely given both to workers, waiters, and weepers, and they may rest assured that it will not fail: “in due season they shall reap….” Charles Spurgeon