Tears play a unique role in spiritual breakthrough. This text tells us that the planting of seeds accompanied by a spirit of brokenness will not only bring a spiritual harvest of results, but will leave the sower with a spirit of rejoicing in the process. Scripture teaches us that tears have a variety of purposes and functions related to what might be termed “the ministry of tears.”
Tears of sorrow (2 Kin.20:5) are brought on by the helplessness of our physical frailty. Tears of joy (Gen. 33:4) rejoice in restored relationships. There are tears of compassion (John 11:35) in caring for the pain of others, and there are tears of desperation (Esth. 4:1, 3) crying out for help only God can give. We weep tears of struggle (Is. 42:14) in bearing down to give birth to the new thing God has promised to do. There are tears of repentance (Joel 2:12,13) weeping because of our sin.
It is in our heart, softened by tears, where we must plant. In such fertile soil, the precious seeds will grow and bring a joyous and abundant harvest.