Thursday, April 28, 2011

Seeds of Tears

I keep reading and hearing about how I’m supposed to be a joyful mother. I search and pray for contentment…yet lack the joy I want my children to see and experience from their mother. Sometimes I want to chop it up to genetics, but know that it is the sin of discontentment. (Or maybe I’m just tired.)

Either way, I decided to do a word study to make sure these folks were telling me the truth…that I should be joyful. Using my concordance I find the word “joy” 155 times in scripture…and this does not include the word “joyful.” As I begin my study on joy, something rings a bell…

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalms 126:5, 6

And I see it…I go forth with tears, weeping. I pray over my children and tears flow out. I fail. They fail. And only God can save us. I beg and plead and pray for Him to deliver us. And I must realize, this is the beginning of the harvest.  I must step back and work. Sometimes there won’t be joy…but in the end joy has been promised.

Suffering saints have a seedness of tears. They are in tears often; they share in the calamities of human life, and commonly have a greater share in them than others. But they sow in tears; they do the duty of an afflicted state and so answer the intentions of the providences they are under. Weeping must not hinder sowing; when we suffer ill we must be doing well. Nay, as the ground is by the rain prepared for the seed, and the husbandman sometimes chooses to sow in the wet, so we must improve times of affliction, as disposing us to repentance, and prayer, and humiliation. Nay, there are tears which are themselves the seed that we must sow, tears of sorrow for sin, our own and others, tears of sympathy with the afflicted church, and the tears of tenderness in prayer and under the word. These are precious seed, such as the husbandman sows when corn is dear and he has but little for his family, and therefore weeps to part with it, yet buries it under ground, in expectation of receiving it again with advantage. Thus does a good man sow in tears. They shall have a harvest of joy. The troubles of the saints will not last always, but, when they have done their work, shall have a happy period. The captives in Babylon were long sowing in tears, but at length they were brought forth with joy, and then they reaped the benefit of their patient suffering, and brought their sheaves with them to their own land, in their experiences of the goodness of God to them. Job, and Joseph, and David, and many others, had harvests of joy after a sorrowful seedness. Those that sow in the tears of godly sorrow shall reap in the joy of a sealed pardon and a settled peace. Those that sow to the spirit, in this vale of tears, shall of the spirit reap life everlasting, and that will be a joyful harvest indeed. Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be for ever comforted. (Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible; Psalms 126:4-6)


Susan said...

Hi Michelle,

Beautiful post...and so true. I don't think I weep enough. I think I've grown calloused over the years. I should be weeping over the sins and the suffering of others, but I'm not. I attribute that to a hardening of my heart, and I pray that my heart gets broken because of what is broken in this world.

But thank the Lord that He is our Mediator, and He heals what has been broken, having been broken for us. :-)

Craig said...

You so did the right thing. Check the manual - always check the owner's manual. And what you came up with is stunning - really - stunning Michelle. So many different kind of joy - and perfect joy comes later - and Christian joy doesn't mean happy happy bluebirds, I think you get it - I so do. God Bless and keep you and all of yours Michelle. I really hearted this post. Thank you.

Cathy M. said...

What a wonderful exposition of that text. Somehow knowing that our moods and feelings are liars doesn't exactly supersede the influence they hold over our current emotional status. I can vividly remember rocking my baby boy (23 years ago), and singing hymns while tears streamed down my cheeks for no apparent reason. That "postpartum" thing is a terrible trial. Thank God you are in Christ and have the comfort of His word and His eternal promises.

Holly said...

Please don't attribute these postpartum blahs to only discontentment. If you are dealing with postpartum depression, I encourage you to talk to your doctor. Postpartum depression can be serious- and sometimes it feels out of control. Sucking it up and trudging through is not going to help you spiritually.

I do believe the bible is the world's only living, breathing book, and that rehearsing scripture over and over will make a significant difference in your life. That's the first and best place to start.

You also need to take note of your physical needs; lack of sleep really messes with a person- some more than others. Do what you have to do to get adequate amounts of sleep.

You need exercise- every day- and exposure to sunlight. If it's rainy and gross where you are, make sure you're taking a vitamin D supplement. (The vitamin D in your multi-vitamin doesn't count. You need a LOT more.)

If you're opposed to anti-depressants, (which is understandable) there are natural mood boosters. (Eat a diet rich in those good fats, like from fish and olive oil and avocados. All those foods Jesus ate!)

You need adult contact. The happiest people are those who reach out to others. Your blog isn't enough. Make playdates and plans with friends.

Don't be so hard on yourself. If you attribute your unhappiness to solely "sin" (and we're all sinners) you may be ignoring the real root of your sadness.

I encourage you to talk to your doctor or find a friend to hold you accountable to making positive steps to get better.

(I speak from horrible experience- the darkest time of my life- and will be praying for you. I'm free to commiserate any time;

Sorry for the sermon. Please get better!