Sowing And Reaping

The sting of emptiness cuts deep. Surely you’ve felt it. When you reach the end of an endeavor and realize you’ve come up short – almost, but not quite there. It’s hard to accept and even harder to believe, especially when you gave it everything you’ve got. Drained. Discouraged. Depressed. Where to go from here? They say when you’re at the bottom, the only place to go is up. But what’s the point if you know you’ll just end up falling back down again? You’re starting to think maybe melancholy is your new normal. This is the place you’ll reside for the rest of your days. Might as well settle in and get comfortable. After all, if God hasn’t answered your prayers by now then He’s probably not going to, right? And yet they say there is always hope…

When there was bondage, God provided a breakthrough and brought the Israelites out of Egypt. When there was famine, God provided a feast of manna. When there was hurting, God provided healing. Over and over again we read the Scriptures that tell of a God who provides and keeps His promises. But that was then. This is now.  Can it still be true?

Certainly I have not walked where you’ve walked. The aches you’ve felt and the agony you’ve endured have not been the same as mine. But I would guess that the one thing we have in common is that we’ve both walked, ached, and endured. And we want answers. We want to know that it will be worth something someday. We want to know that we haven’t come all this way for nothing. More than anything, we want to be seen. For someone to say “I see your tears.” Pain cries out to be acknowledged, not pacified. If we can’t see our prayers answered right now, then we at least need to know they are being heard. A promise to cling to –  to grasp our weary fingers around – might buy us enough time to make it to the next day. Breathe life into our tired souls. 

Recently, I read this passage of scripture in Psalm 126; and it stopped me in my tracks. Gripped me. I want to share it with you:

Those who sow with tears
    
will reap with songs of joy.Those who go out weeping,
    
carrying seed to sow,will return with songs of joy,
    
carrying sheaves with them. (Psalm 126:5-6)

Now I don’t know about you, but in my life experience I have never thought of tears as producing anything other than puffy eyes and a runny nose. So how in the world can a snotty mess be a pathway to plenitude? Beats me. And yet the more I chewed on that passage, the more I started to wonder if maybe God was up to something here. 

All those weeks, months, years sowing in tears; and you’ve got nothing to show for it…yet. But rest assured, nothing is wasted when it is given to the Father. Five loaves of bread and two fish turned into twelve baskets of leftovers. If God can serve up a meal from some measly crumbs, imagine what He can do with a jar full of tears. And in case you were wondering, yes He sees your tears. In fact, He not only sees them – He collects them! (Psalm 56:8). The seed has been sown. Maybe you don’t see the fruit yet, but it will come. After every season of sowing, there is always a season of reaping. God turns our tears into treasures. 

In the hands of the Savior, sorrow is turned to joy. Poverty is turned to plenty. He takes our cupboards from barren to bountiful. You may be empty, but you will be filled again.

So look up. Watch and wait in expectancy. The harvest is coming.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

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Central Christian Church | Mount Vernon, IL