Hosea 10:12 (NLT)
12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
I love beautiful flowers and delicious fruits & vegetables. Picking out freshly bloomed flowers and fruits picked in season with their vibrant colors is a joy when I am at the grocery store. Yet I admit I’d rarely think of the planting process.
I think we have lost so much as we have become a society mostly dependent on stores to provide us our flowers and fresh foods. Most of us no longer get our hands dirty and wait patiently, tenderly caring for the seeds we have planted. We no longer anxiously await the fruit as they develop.
Hosea’s words remind me that the planting is a huge piece of the harvest that we enjoy. There can be no harvest without the planting. Planting entails intention, a plan, work, hardship, plowing up hard ground, patience, waiting and follow through.
As I think about this in terms of my spiritual walk with the Lord, I’m reminded that I must spend time seeking Him, allowing Him to plow up the pride and hard places in my heart. I must plant seeds of righteousness in order to harvest the right things I desire in my life. I must allow things to be cut out and cut off; those weeds that would choke out the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and self-control that I want to be sprouting out of my mouth, my hands, my eyes, my heart. Sometimes that pruning is painful, and it causes tears and separation from things that have taken the place of my first love.
Another important quality to planting is an expectant and patient heart as I plant these seeds. Nothing grows into a beautiful flower, or a full grown piece of produce, overnight.
I love the thought that as we plant in tears, most likely meaning tears of pain, we will harvest with shouts of joy and triumph. Those moments of pain are not without a purpose.
For what we may feel is pain, when handed over to the Lord result in our lives a beautiful harvest, in His time.