Those who shed tears as they plant will shout for joy when they reap the harvest.
Farming happens to be one of the more stressful occupations that people engage in in the United States. There is research that suggests it’s consistently among the top 10 most stressful and dangerous occupations. After sweating and pouring into the task of planting, it could be stunted or destroyed by every manner of weather, from torrents of rain to drought to pestilence. Or devoured by the high upfront cost of farm machinery. Or a swing in agricultural economy could change completely by the time their crops are ready for harvest. So many uncontrollable variables. These very real possibilities fuel the fear of uncertainty, threatening loss to their way of life, their income and property.
My life lately has felt tumultuous and uncertain. In almost every scenario we are being asked to “hurry up — and wait.” You’ve been there, I’m sure. Counting down to a surgery date, awaiting test results, praying and hoping for the best, but planning for any surprise endings. So many uncontrollable variables.
As I was catching up with a long-distance friend today, which included a list of the multiple challenges we are facing right now in our own lives, in the lives of our children and with some very close fiends, she said something that has reverberated in my heart: “As you plant these seeds of sorrow, remember that they are an investment in your future, for the promised harvest that is coming.”
It caused me to consider these seeds of sorrow. Current circumstances are sorrowful from the standpoint that one would rather not go through them or would like to have the guarantee of healthy and happy outcomes. As a believer, I am called and want to be faithFULL. God understands my heavy heart and provides comfort when I will let him. This world will never be void of sorrow, but it should never interfere with the task of sowing. He promises that tears are not wasted – in fact, our tears may be like seed in that, when they are sown, they have the capacity to produce great joy.
An article on Psychologytoday.com tells us our thoughts are just like the seeds in nature; every thought is like a seed that manifests in our reality.
“If you had a garden, would you not be careful about the seeds you plant in the soil? Would you not choose beforehand which trees and plants you want to grow in your garden? You would not choose to plant stinging nettles and poison ivy… would you?
Well, we are subconsciously and consciously planting stinging and poisonous thoughts every day in our minds. Instead of planning our ‘garden’ by visualizing and imagining our desires, wishes and dreams, we let false suggestions from the ‘outside world’ decide what we are going to occupy our mind with.”
God says this so much better in His Word and in so many wonderful ways—Philippians 4:8, Colossians 3:2, Romans 12:2, I Peter 1:13 and one of my favorites, Ephesians 4:22-24.
So, I’m pondering, what seeds am I sowing? Sorrow is not the problem. The evidence of my faith and God’s sovereignty is the question. Even in my sorrow, am I trusting that this ugly, minuscule, insignificant sliver of a seed will produce a bushel of joy? Even in my sorrow can I testify to the marvelous and mysterious ways God has set nature in motion to grow something from nothing? Am I willing to accept what ever elements come my way, and that He will provide a harvest of joy regardless of the weather ahead?
After the farmers have tilled and sown and cultivated, they wait. The machinery leaves the fields and they have a season of trust and hope for the harvest. They depend on favorable soil and moisture and sun.
I feel that I am very in a season of tilling and sowing and cultivating seeds of sorrow. And now I must take my place in this season of trust and hope for the coming harvest. I have allowed God to prepare the soil of my heart, I have watered it with tears, and now I wait for The Son to prepare a bountiful harvest of joy – no matter what!