“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)
Before we leap to the conclusion that our verse is saying the sowing of seeds is a trial or a difficult thing to do, let’s reckon what is being said here. This is a truth that every farmer and gardener know well. To get a harvest, seed must be sown. Seed must be planted for a garden to grow. Sowing, plowing, digging, are all things that must be done even in times when we are crying about other things. Crops will not wait while we process through our grief or solve our dilemmas. If we want to eat next winter, we must sow this spring. When there are necessary straightforward jobs to be done, and we are full of sadness, with tears flowing easily, we must go ahead and do the jobs with tears. The tears may make us want to quit life for a bit. But there is a field to be sown (dishes to be washed, car to be fixed). If we do that, the promise of the psalm is that we will “reap with shouts of joy.” Not because the tears of sowing produce the joy of reaping, but because the sowing produces the reaping.