Your Tears Are Seeds
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 ESV)
Much about this world is counterintuitive. God is coy like that.
In the valley of despair, all seems lost. We return over and over to that which makes us sad, hurt, or angry. Our thoughts seem to be hemmed in, and they move ever toward what causes us pain. This seems to be part of the grieving process, to fully realize what happens to us so we can deal with it. You have to go there before you can move on, it seems.
In these times where we are in an emotional fog, it's hard to see light. It's all around us - in the kind words of friends, in the wet nose of your dog - but we don't see it. We see nothing past pain.
But what if we understood that our tears are seeds? What if we knew our mourning will turn into dancing? It would change everything.
Well, our tears are seeds. And, per the verse above, we will soon reap the harvest of joy which comes after suffering.
Some tears are like seeds of oaks, and some like seeds of dandelions.
The oak tears take a while to cause growth, and they are borne of deep pain. These are pivotal painful events in our lives: cancer, a parent leaves, divorce, rejection, betrayal. Oak tears change the course of our lives slowly and significantly and they bring a harvest of long term perspective and wisdom.
Dandelion tears cause growth more quickly. Much of our teenage first world problems are like dandelions. We go through small issues, shed some ridiculous tears, and there's quick growth after that. Examples of dandelions would be short term job loss, teenage break ups, and elections.
I tend to believe dandelion tears should be pushed through. God will use them for his purposes and thus they are useful, but often we treat small things as big things and miss the eternal things. Rub some dirt on it, buddy. Move on.
Oak tears, however, are divine. They sculpt our characters and impact our souls. They hurt deeply, but they also produce great growth over time. We cannot ignore these major events in our lives, and they sure don't ignore us.
Plants need more than water, air, and soil to grow, though. They need sunlight. And so too we must not simply shed tears and expect a bunch of good to come of it while we mope and kick the ground. It is crucial as we go through the process of suffering that we bask in the light of God's love continually. More specifically, we need to behold who Jesus is and what he has done for us. He has borne the greatest suffering imaginable by bearing the wrath and rejection of the Father so we can live as freed men and women. He has slain sin and death and given us eternity with him. He has given us the Spirit to live inside us. This is the sunshine, friends. If we stand in this light, we cannot help but grow deep roots that will last forever.
Here is the growth cycle of planting our tears in suffering:
Suffering > endurance > character > hope
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)
If you're hurting deeply, know that you're sowing deeply. Stand in the light of the Lord, be still, and let him work his magic to grow a harvest in your soul. Soon you'll be shouting with joy.