Church Blogs

Sowing Tears
March 24, 2016 @ 3:10 PM by: Jennifer Frank

Sowing Tears

by Pastor Abby Davidson

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book. ~Psalm 56:8

May those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. ~Psalm 125:5-6


If there were ever a week for tears this is it. If you’ve been listening to the news then you know about the too-soon death of the former mayor of Toronto (regardless of oft-reported questionable lifestyle choices) and the bombings in Brussels. We have been reminded this week of the frailty of life and the injustice that pervades our world. Some of us bear those reminders every day; we need not turn on the radio to hear bad news because it’s evident in our own lives. It might be failing health or a broken relationship or the grief of a dream that will never be realized. This is cause for tears. 

As we approach Good Friday we are struck by the gravity of the day. This day was the day that all of creation had been leading up to – a day when God’s redemptive plan would be complete. The gospels give us a glimpse into the mind of Jesus during the days leading up to his crucifixion. Earlier in the week, as Jesus approached Jerusalem, we are told he looked at the city and wept. Now Jesus is praying in garden of Gethsemane, sweating drops of blood and asking God to spare him the suffering he is about to endure.

You have to wonder why Jesus cried. He was the perfect human being and had an intimate understanding of God’s plan for salvation. He must have known that good would come from his death. Yet he was still a man of deep sorrow. He was a man who wasn’t afraid to weep.

We need to keep in mind the psalmist’s words that God holds each of our tears in a bottle. He keeps track of our sorrows. We grieve with God and trust that although we cannot see the joy that is to come, it will come. We grieve as people who have hope.

Tim Keller, an author and pastor, talks about the importance of ‘sowing our tears’. We are to grieve with tears and entrust those tears to God. We are told that when we sow tears, we will reap joy.

Looking at the life of Jesus we see he had an understanding that suffering is inevitable. The gospel of John shows us that even during times of feasting and celebration, Jesus had his death in mind.  We need to live with Christ’s death in mind. There’s a temptation to gloss over Good Friday so we can get to the joy of Easter but if we do that then we miss the purpose for our joy. Christ’s death leads us to life and it is through the lens of his death that we need to view our own sufferings.

To do so doesn’t mean that we rationalize our sufferings and hold in our pain. It means that we grieve and we weep and we do so knowing full well that the tears we sow will one day reap a harvest of joy.