Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
Psalm 126:5 NLT
I know very little about horticulture. In fact, in the spirit of full confession, up until about 3 years ago I couldn’t even keep a cactus alive. However, in recent years I have learned a couple really cool facts about plants that has created a significant perspective shift in my life. Garden culture actually offers quite a bit of insight to human culture and there is a surprising amount of spiritual correlation as well. For example, did you know that there is actually a plant called Job’s Tears? Check this out:
“Job’s tears plants are an ancient cereal grain most often grown as an annual, but may survive as a perennial where frosts do not occur. Job’s tears ornamental grass makes an interesting border or container specimen that may get 4 to 6 feet tall. These wide arching stems add graceful interest to the garden. Job’s tears cultivation is easy and the plants start quickly from seed. In fact, the plant produces strings of seeds that resemble beads. These seeds make excellent natural jewelry and have a hole in the center that wire or jewelry thread passes through easily.” – Bonnie L. Grant in Gardening Know How
I have never thought of tears as an ancient source of food and border/container specimen – that is SO powerful. A deep cry can be uuber nourishing to the soul and our tears do create natural boundaries for us. This definition holds so much depth and character to it. Named after Job, the Biblical legend who suffered great loss yet continued to love God, I instantly connect with this grassy metaphor. But what about the tears that can become a beautiful piece of jewelry once harvested? I’m not sure I really understood this part until I read Psalm 126.
“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plan their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” Psalm 126:5-6
When I read these words, I visualize planting my tears of sorrow in the soil of God’s mercy. Every tear of loss, fear, or anger that I plant in his promise DOES yield a harvest of new song, filled with a deeper understanding and appreciation for God’s love. These harvests are an intense, different kind of beautiful, like the seeds of Job’s Tears, a sunset after a storm, and the resurrection after the crucifixion. This kind of harvest offers God’s transforming power to every day I am alive.
What a powerful message of hope to all the tears falling each day for our friends, our families and our world. I pray that I can remember this and wait patiently for the harvest to come. Anyone have any Job’s Tears grass they want to share with me? I might need a whole yard-full.
Dear Lord, thank you so much for the power of your unfailing word. You see each tear that falls in this world and you offer us your perfect promise of a day when those tears produce joy. Help me to remember this promise and cherish it in my times of sorrow as well as celebrate it when the harvest comes! Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/14723043@N07/4035165074″>Brote II</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>