“They that sow in tears shallreap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
As a child, I often sang the song, Bringing in the Sheaves without really understanding what it truly meant.
According to Wikipedia,
The lyrics were written in 1874 by Knowles Shaw, who was inspired by Psalm 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Shaw also wrote music for these words, but they are now usually set to a tune by George Minor, written in 1880.
Wow, I didn’t know the song has been around so long. I have heard stories of children who misunderstood and thought they were singing about bringing in sheets – as in bringing in the laundry. My Mom was one of them. I smile as I imagine Mom as a child, belting out the words, “bringing in the sheets!” According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, ashe Full Definition of sheaf
plural sheaves play \ˈshēvz\
: a quantity of the stalks and ears of a cereal grass or sometimes other plant material bound together
: something resembling a sheaf of grain <a sheaf of papers>
: a large amount or number
However, there is much more meaning in this song and in the Bible verse from which it is taken. (Psalms 126:6)
Several years ago, the Lord showed me the power in these verses in a way I had not seen before.
[In the Amplified Version, verse 5: “They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.” I like that. When the Lord blesses, I sing. When I fail – I go to His Word and then sing.] Verse 5 defines verse 6 in a nutshell. So I shall concentrate on verse 6.
- He that goeth forth – requires action.
- and Weepeth – weeping. To feel such a burden to pray for someone that it brings tears. From the heart. It is deep and personal. Not selfish tears but caring so much that it breaks our heart. When I realized this, I knew it was from the Lord. There was someone who needed the Savior and I didn’t have any way to contact that person. So I prayed and as I prayed, a river of tears came and a burden that was so strong, I prayed several times a day for that one the Lord loved even more than I. It also requires Humility
- bearing precious seed – I love the word “precious” used here. The implication that this is good seed. [“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6] [“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season, we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:7-9] In these verses, I have learned to be a good steward. As we pray, it must not be selfish. Praying as the Spirit leads for others. That His will may be done. That He will soften a hard heart. That others will repent and will receive Christ as their Savior. Sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as we are prompted by the Holy Spirit. Teaching the Word of God Faithfully; “rightly dividing the Word of God.” (2 Timothy 2:15) In other words, live in a way that pleases Him. “the just shall live by faith. Sowing good seed. In my minds eye, I saw the person for whom I was praying to be saved. Before this was answered, I asked the Lord to show me any root of bitterness in my heart and asked His forgiveness and then when I brought that loved one to the foot of the cross, on my knees, in tears. Only then did He answer in abundance!
- shall doubtless come again – Returning – Harvest Time
- Rejoicing – abundance of joy.
- Bringing his sheaves with him – Reward – Answered Prayer – Souls led to Christ.
The person I was praying for was “my Daddy.” I had my Daddy at the top of my prayer list for many years. (About 30 years!) At first, as a child and new believer, I prayed that my Daddy would come to know Christ as his savior so that some day, I could meet him in Heaven. Around 1998, the burden to pray for my Daddy was so strong, it seemed as a weight. I had to pray. I prayed for his salvation but that wasn’t enough. He placed on my heart the need to find my Daddy and to share the Love of Christ with him. That seemed to be an impossible mission. You see, Mom had told me about my Dad. He was a sergent in the U.S. Marine Corps. I had a birth certificate but his real name was not listed.
The Lord led me to pray for my Mom – that The Holy Spirit would convict her and that He would soften her heart to repentance. (John was praying with me.) A few days later, the doorbell rang and I opened the door, Mom was standing there with a piece of paper. “I think this is what you need to find your Daddy,” she said as she handed me my grandmother’s obituary. My Aunt still lived in her mother’s house. I looked up her phone number on line and asked if she could give me her brother’s address. She did!
We had Pastor Brodie and the Sunday School class praying as I made a phone call the following night. The first try, I got the answering machine. It was amazing just to hear my father’s voice. It was the realization that my Daddy was not a ficticious character residing in the portal of my mind and heart but is real and needed the Lord.
John and I prayed and with a shaky hand, I dialed the number and he answered. After explaining who I was, he said the most wonderful words I had longed to hear. “I remember you!” He told me that the last time he saw me, I was three but looked like I was two. He even remembered every detail – down to the blue glasses and the color of my outfit. He had always wondered about me but thought Mom must not have told him about me.
He and his wife came for a wonderful visit. I think seeing out loved ones in Heaven will feel something like being held in my Daddy’s arms for the first time. We visited them after Christmas that year. You cannot imagine the overwhelming joy as we shared the Gospel with them and they both received Christ as their Savior. It was then I understood about bringing in the Sheaves – Psalms 126:6-9.
I was reminded of this tonight. I was playing the piano and noticed verse three of Bringing in the Sheaves.
“Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master, tho the loss sustained our spirit often grieves; When our weeping’s over He will bid us welcome – we shall come rejoicing, bring in the sheaves.”
This is my testimony of how the Lord turned weeping into rejoicing as we sowed in tears and reaped the abundant harvest with joy.
Blessings to you as you sow seeds for Him.
What a beautiful story of redemption and the power of persistent prayer, Kathy. What a blessing to have not only found your father but to begin a relationship with him. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story.
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