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Sow in Tears

by Allison Martin


He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,

shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalms 126:6

I always seem drawn to verses like this - something in me is fascinated by the principle of planting and harvesting. I’m not sure why, because my grandma’s green thumb skipped my generation. Actually, it didn’t- my sister can grow about anything. It just skipped me. I am the plant killer in a family of gardeners. My contribution to the family garden was half heartedly plucking at weeds and feeling as though I was doing my little plant friends a great service.

To understand this verse, though, you’d have to travel further than a little garden plot in north Texas. The seeds planted there every year were mostly for the enjoyment of watching something grow. The scene these verses paint are more like the setting of a missionary story that Bro. Taylor told us when I was still in Bible school.

On the outskirts of a poor village in Africa, a nameless missionary saw Psalm 126 come to life before his eyes. As the missionary traveled between villages, both sides of the dusty road were rows of crudely tilled earth. In each of these fields, dozens of women toiled beneath a blazing sun. Covered in dust and hunched from exhaustion, they painstakingly made their way down the rows. Bending and planting, bending and planting. Wiping sweat, ignoring their burning muscles. Bending, and planting. And with each bending motion, a small splash of mud formed in the scorched earth. These women were crying. Because as they worked, they were followed by their starving children, begging to eat the seeds. I truly cannot imagine the agony of a mother who knows she cannot give her hungry child what they are asking for. It would satisfy them in the moment, but destroy their hope of a future. As much as it broke their heart, they had to keep planting. They that sow in tears.


For every seed that was surrendered to the earth and buried out of sight, a battle was raging. And though this setting is completely foreign to us, the battle is not. It is the war of sacrifice. The struggle to surrender what we want right now for the sake of a harvest that we believe will come.

Every seed was potential, and the choice was theirs to make. They could consume it right then, only to be left empty handed later. Or they could invest in the future, and trust that God would bring something of their sacrifice that would truly make a difference. Those seeds were the most valuable things they had, and they refused the temptation to only live for that moment. Though it cost them greatly, they were investing in the future. It will cost us greatly too. But far more than just the future, we are investing in eternity.


May I remind you this morning that your life is precious? It’s precious because you only get once chance to live it. You get one life to make a difference. What you decide to do with today and all the days after it can never be undone. You hold your life as seeds in your hands.


Our culture shouts at us to live life for ourselves, and do whatever makes us happy. It’s your life, they say. Pursue your pleasure at any cost. Whatever it takes to get the success you deserve.


Our Saviour calls us to surrender. To pour into those around us, even when it’s not easy. To spend and be spent for the Kingdom of God, even when we don’t see that we are making a difference. To follow after His will, even when our own plans seem to make a lot more sense.

The choice is ours. And though all of us who are pursuing God’s will have made the right choice, that doesn’t make it easy. No, far from it. There are days of setbacks and disappointments, flops and flat out failures. There are seasons when nothing seems to be going right, and we honestly wonder if we are making any kind of a difference at all.


Any ministry that you truly give yourself to will take a piece of your heart. Any harvest that you have truly invested in will eventually be watered with your own tears. Because tears are usually a tired, but willing heart’s way of saying, “I trust You.”

When I don’t understand the calling You’ve given, I trust You.

When I’m afraid that I will never be enough, I trust You.

When I don’t see the results from all my sacrifice, I trust You.

I won’t trust in my own efforts, because I know they aren’t much. I won’t trust in what I see, because results may not come on my schedule. My trust rests in the faithfulness of my God, and the promise He made: He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

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