He who goes out weeping,

bearing the seed for sowing,

shall come home with shouts of joy,

bringing the sheaves with him.

Psalm 126: 6

 

This Psalm is about restoration and new growth. In it there is hope and there is the promise of God’s blessings that will come to His faithful workers. But there is also something else going on here. As the workers who are committing themselves to working in the Lord’s fields prepare for their calling, their demeanor is not at all what I would have expected. I would anticipate that they would be joyous and filled with the high energy of an athlete who is ready to step out onto the field or the court to seek after a win. There would be confidence and strength on display as the training and the hours of practice that have preceded this moment are now going to be put to good use.

 

This is not what we are given in this account. The workers who are ready to step out to begin the work of seed planting in the fields that are God’s intended land for harvest of souls are setting out with weeping. Although the writer of this psalm does not give us much more by way of reason for the tears, I would like to speculate on this a little. This world is not an easy place to dwell as a follower of Christ. The truth of God’s Word and the moral and ethical decisions that adhering to it demand will not be met with popular acceptance. Even the love of Christ is rejected and labeled as controlling, discriminatory, and irrelevant by many of the people that we might attempt to care about in His name. Sharing biblical truth is often unpopular and can be dangerous in many ways.

 

So, part of the cause for the weeping here is the natural response to going into the harsh environment of our world with the intent to plant seeds of hope in Christ. Yet, I think that there is more going on here. Each of us was once lost, and we are still traveling along a road where sin causes us to stumble and to fall down so that Christ’s grace and love are required to pick us up and to again set us out on that road of His calling. God is saying to me that I should enter into the work of sharing His truth in my world with a heart that is sorrowful and repentant for my own sinfulness and for the way that rebellion against God is causing people to live in separation from their source of true hope, peace, and joy. This is a very different attitude from that of the athlete or the warrior preparing for the battle of the game.

 

A repentant heart is a humble one, and it engages with people out of the humility and the grace that is Christ. A sorrowful heart feels and appreciates the pain of the cross. As God’s tears flow from my eyes, I see the people of my world in a new manner. Their own pain, struggles, and grief are brought into clearer focus, and Christ speaks the truth of their needs to my heart in ways that can make His message of life clearer and more relevant to each person who I meet. This time of weeping is a time of preparation for the true work of service to Christ. It removes me from the front of the effort and places the Lord in His rightful place as the voice of love that I speak while planting His seeds. Then the tears of repentance and sorrow will be replaced by the shouts of joy when Christ’s harvest of souls is completed.

 

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