I love this painting I saw in Israel. It is based on Psalm 126:5-6, which reads…
“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed,but they sing as they return with the harvest.”
In the time when the songwriter wrote this song, the culture he lived in was predominately agrarian… they were farmers. And when they harvested crops, they set aside some of the seeds to plant for the next year.
The problem was, success wasn’t guaranteed. Success depended on whether or not they had good weather… the right amounts of rain and sunshine.
And every handful of seed they planted was a handful of seed they couldn’t use to feed themselves or their family right then. But if they fed themselves right then, there would certainly be no food for the future.
So they planted with tears because it was a tough decision. It was a decision of faith. It was a decision of trusting God. It was a decision with a result that wouldn’t be seen for sure for at least months.
How much they planted was based on how much faith they had and how much they were willing to sacrifice at the moment. But the more faith they used, the more it took to leave that seed in the ground and wait to see what would become of it.
Yet, if they had submitted their lives to the Lord, He blessed their planting of seeds by faith, and they harvested in joy! Oh, what joy as they saw the plants begin to bloom and blossom and put on veggies and fruit. No doubt, they sang praise to God as they collected their bounty. And they sang songs of joy because they recalled singing the blues as they planted the very seeds which gave them the food they needed this year.
We, too, decide whether or not we will plant… invest in the lives of others… in the here and now in hopes of what MIGHT be harvested later. It’s a decision of faith. It’s a decision of trust.
Will I love people now in hopes that there will be more love for me later? Will I encourage others now in hopes that there will be someone to encourage me if I run out? Will I give to others now in hopes that the Lord will repay my generosity should I be in need later?
And how much we plant in the lives of others is still based on faith. The level at which we plant determines the level at which we will harvest.
So, if pass me one day and see me weeping, don’t worry too much. It’s just me planting in faith… and there will be a harvest one day. I can count on it. And so can you!