What are you hungry for? I don’t mean food, necessarily; I mean a longing that’s so deep, it’s almost painful to name it. Maybe you long for a child. You long to be a parent. Maybe you are hungry for marriage—or for healing in the one you have. Maybe you long for physical relief from a difficult diagnosis. You are waiting, you are longing, and you are starved with hunger.
Maybe you are simply waiting for joy. You are weary of walking under a dark cloud and the heavy blanket of depression. You long for happiness and you’re hungry for laughter. Please hear me on this: I get that. I understand you. I will not say I know how you feel, but I may have been painfully close to where you stand. Can I show you what shined a little light in my dark cocoon?
This is not poetry. It is a promise. He promises that those who are hungry now will not always be. Those who are sad will one day laugh again. Not just smile, you guys. Laugh. Now, with that promise in your hands, couple it with this one, this verse for “after the waiting”:
It says if you “plant in tears.” It does not say “if you are in tears.”
There is a subtle and very important difference there. Crying in itself does not guarantee forthcoming joy. Tears alone do not promise healing and laughter to come. The promise lives in the willingness to plant while you are in tears.
What does that mean, though? What are we to sow? How are we to plant?
We sow seeds each time we are honest in our conversations with the Lord. Each time we open ourselves to the vulnerability of intimacy, by saying what we really mean instead of an empty platitude. Are you so angry that you fear what you might do next? Tell him. Are you so discouraged you don’t feel you could go another day? Tell him. Are you so weary that one more step feels like it would break you? Tell him. He already knows how we feel, and healing comes when we are honest about it. As we bring our brokenness, as we choose to believe he is in this journey and he is faithful, we are planting seeds.
Also, we sow seeds when we believe the truth of the words of Scripture. We can plant it by believing it, claiming it, and holding onto it with both hands. When you are in a season so dark that you cannot see the path before you, when your tears are so thick, you feel like you may drown, you can sow seeds by claiming one verse at a time.
These are some of the truths that I held on to in my darkest hours:
This I know: God is on my side!
My heart is confident in you, O God;
my heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!
You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”
Lamentations 3:57, NIV
Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.
For I know the one in whom I trust.
2 Timothy 1:12
You may have a hurt that will never, ever be healed in this lifetime, and I will never minimize the longing that feels like it could break you in two before this life is through. Don’t put your tears away. While you are in the darkness, while you are waiting, plant seeds with your tears. Be honest with the Lord. Let them pour. Let them go. Trust the Lord to keep them, just as he promised. When we give him our tears, not a single one is wasted. He will restore you. He is faithful. His loving kindness will never end. He is for you. And he is on your side. He longs to hear you laugh again too. And I know this: Laughter is never sweeter than after you’ve been sad.
Those who weep now will laugh.
Don’t let this time be wasted.
Sow your seeds.
~ ~ ~
And he did rescue us, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.
2 Corinthians 1:10
Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.