November 18, 2012
Harvest of Joy
Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves
Into every life some rain must fall, and each of us has "sown" his share of tears. But God has made it possible that those who "sow in tears shall reap in joy." We might wish the harvest time were already here, but that time is not yet. For all we know, it may be very near, and in fact, we are taught to live each day in the expectation of Christ's return. But for now anyway, the harvest is still future. Rather than speculate or worry about the reasons for God's delay of the harvest, we should enter willingly into these days of sowing, even if it is tears that must be sown. In the words of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, "Thine is the seed time: God alone / Beholds the end of what is sown; / Beyond our vision weak and dim / The harvest time is hid with him."
It takes faith, of course, to hold on to the confidence that the sowing of tears will be followed by a reaping in joy. On many days, it certainly doesn't seem like things are going to work out that way. But we must choose to have the attitude of Paul: "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy 1:12).
If we're "reaching forward to those things which are ahead" (Philippians 3:13), that means we're "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God" (2 Peter 3:12). For a while yet, this is the world where our work must be done and where, yes, our tears must be sown. But this world is not all there is. If we've obeyed the gospel of Christ and are living our lives in Him, then we're moving toward a realm where our tears will give way to utter joy. "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4).
Beyond this vale of tears
There is a life above
Unmeasured by the flight of years
And all that life is love.