Do you water other people’s gardens?
Have you ever thought of your tears as the water we use to water other people’s gardens? This is the image the Lord gave me today. Like you, I have shed many tears. Tears of heartache, heart break, disappointment; tears of fear, shame, not being enough; tears of joy, accomplishment, seeing the glory of God. We don’t like to talk about these tears. Many of us want to hide these tears to look good, put together, tough, etc. We have an Instagram or Facebook persona to uphold or maybe we just don’t want to be reminded of all those heart-felt tears we have shed when our “You have memories” message pops up.
But have you ever thought about how God uses our tears to water other people’s gardens? Those tears are gathered up by God. He can use them to help other people grow. Sometimes God uses our tears helps other relate to us, to let us know we are not alone, to help us grow, and to help other people grow by watching God use our tears in our lives to reveal Himself.
6 There are a lot of great verses about tears in the Bible. The one that stands out the most to me in this context is Psalm 126:5-6.
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
What a perfect image! Can you picture sowing with tears? Is that you? Are you carrying seed to sow in your weeping? Did you see God’s promise? “Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return” with what? SONGS OF JOY, but not just songs of joy but carrying sheaves--an abundance of harvest with them.
Think about this my friend, if you are sowing tears before the Lord, know that He will planting them and you shall reap joy and a harvest. And sometimes those tears are sown and watered with more tears, not just in your garden for your own personal joy, but for others to benefit for your seeds and harvest so they can grow with you. When you share your sorrows, your heartaches, your disappointments, your trials, etc., your tears create a great harvest. Think about the times you have done this. Have you ever had an experience where someone walked along side you and cried with you then they experienced the same scenario and now they were blessed with faith because they watched God pull you through? Or you did this with someone else, where their tears blessed you in seeing the awe of God? Have you done this with God? When we take these to God, He takes those tears and turns them into songs of joy.
The only way to get our tears to water other people’s gardens is by sharing our journey. We have to humbly put down our pride and share our hearts, experiences, lessons. Some of you might be thinking other people do not want to be bogged down by your details and ongoing sagas, and there are appropriate and inappropriate places, times, and people with whom to share your story and that is for God to reveal. But there are some of you who are carrying deep shame, deep sorrow, deep hurts that you have been crying in your closets all alone. God didn’t mean for us to ever be alone. Remember what he said to Adam in the garden, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) We often think of this in terms of marriage, but it applies to all of life. I learned recently that people need people to make sense of life. Newborns are made looking for someone looking for them and so much of our brain development happens in the context of other people. What an amazing God we have!
Don’t cry alone. Find a friend, a counselor, coach or mentor, a mom, someone, and share those burdens. In the process you will heal and as you share your story—your testimony that is built with your tears—you will water other people’s gardens. Your experiences will build their faith. And truth is, someone else out there needs to hear your story. Someone else out there needs to know you are crying so that they know they are not alone. At the very least, the Bible gives us the responsibility of carrying each other’s burdens. But the most beautiful site is when they see God at work in your life—when they lift you in prayer and see the garden grow. As your garden grows, their gardens grow as well, watered by your tears. So pray about a safe place to share your burden and don’t do life alone. God never intended you to cry alone. We are here to edify one another and spur each other on to the Lord.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. –Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
Some of us need our gardens to be watered by other people. Their trials and heart aches need to be shared with us to make our garden grow. By investing our time with them and lifting their burdens to the Lord alongside them, we will see our own seeds of faith grow. Who in your life needs you? Who needs your listening ear, to let them have a safe place to cry and someone to share their burden and show them how to take it to God? Someone out there has something they need to share with you, and it will increase your faith to walk alongside them and spur them on. For me, this is my Moms in Prayer group—a group of moms who get together to pray for our kids and our schools. It is in this group that I have let go my pride and prayed honestly and earnestly for the deep issues of child raising and, in the process, the other ladies in my group can genuinely lift up my kids in prayer. Likewise, they do the same, and the more honest we all are, the more results we see from our gracious and loving Father, powerful Holy Spirit and merciful Jesus Christ and the more all our gardens get watered.
Lord, I pray for the person reading this today. I feel her burdens are so heavy. You tell us to give you our burdens for your yoke is light. But you also tell us to we are not alone. I pray for this weary soul right now, in Jesus Name, that you would illuminate resources, Christians, people who can help bear her burdens and heal her hurts. I pray that You, Lord, will help her turn to You and that You would use these tears to grow other people’s faith and harvest. Do not let these tears pour out in vain. I pray you tear down the pride that comes in front of the tears so that she can seek help through your Christian family on earth. I pray you show up BIG. Show her you are the God who Sees. You are her Provider, her Healer. Show her ways to share her story one day so that she can grow the faith of people around her and use her tears to water other people’s gardens. And open up ways that she can comfort others and let them help her own garden grow. May God have all the glory in her story and use every tear. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend. --Job 16:19-21 NIV