Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
It’s a privilege to be a steward of God’s resources. It’s a joy to participate with him in his work.
But make no mistake: there will be days where that joy isn’t presently felt. Whether it’s at work, at school, in discipleship, in evangelism, in parenthood – there will be days when doing the right thing feels hard and painful. There will be days when our sowing is accompanied by tears.
The important thing in this passage is to notice where the sower looks in the midst of his sadness.
The sower acknowledges his sorrow with a thought.
Charles Spurgeon said of the sower in this passage:
He leaves his couch to go forth into the frosty air and tread the heavy soil; and as he goes he weeps because of past failures, or because the ground is so sterile, or the weather so unseasonable, or his corn so scarce, and his enemies so plentiful and so eager to rob him of his reward.
We recognize our feelings, and we process them. The proper response is not stoicism or a bottling up of emotions. It’s not ignoring the things which make us feel pressure or pain.
But while the sower has feelings, he doesn’t base his decisions solely off of them. There are other factors that catch his gaze more often. There are more important things that he watches for.
He focuses on the time to plant.
His attention is on the conditions of the soil and the seasons – when his seeds will have the greatest chance of growing into good fruit.
The fleeting nature of this opportunity leads him to do what’s hard even in the midst of tears. The greater pain is not that of sowing in sadness but of reaping no harvest. Missed opportunities hurt worse than anything the sower could be feeling today.
Take a moment and consider:
What season it is in your life?
Is the ground ready for planting?
Will you let this moment pass you by?
What are you paying attention to?
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