Industrious Patience

Psalm 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Mark 4:26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

MEMORY VERSE: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. —Galatians 6:9

CENTRAL THOUGHT: The spiritual truth of sowing and reaping contains in it the concepts of toiling, waiting, and watching, while hoping and trusting for the planted seed to germinate, grow, and produce fruit that ripens until the time for harvest.


James 5:7 “The early and latter rain”: “The first showers of autumn, which revived the parched and thirsty earth, and prepared it for the seed; and the latter showers of spring, which continued to refresh and forward the ripening crops and the vernal products of the fields” (Robinson).


The scriptures in Psalms and Ecclesiastes give us the precious promises which we know are pointing toward a spiritual truth. The authors are not speaking merely of literal seed-sowing. Rather, they are referring to the Word-seed which is sown into the hearts of men and women. A seed is sown in hope. In spiritual things, the seed represents powerful life potential. The seed, sown into a human heart, if it is combined with the warmth and softness of faith and receptivity, and the moisture of repentance, swells and bursts into new life. As it grows it brings promise of fruitfulness, a yield greater than itself.

There is “waiting” involved with a seed. Physically, the seed is sown, and for a while there is nothing. But if you start with viable seed corn and the other conditions are met—if there is constant moisture and warmth—just as Jesus described in Mark’s account, pretty soon you see a tiny green shoot. Just a blade. Almost imperceptible. A few days later, you find two long, curling leaves where the blade was. After a while, in the middle of the growing leaves next to the stalk, you find a tiny ear forming. In several weeks you can peel back the outer leaves and reveal full, juicy corn kernels, several hundred on one ear, and possibly two ears per plant. The total yield is truly worth the wait.

Jesus told another agricultural parable about waiting. This time it involved a fig tree whose owner was about to cut it down because of unfruitfulness. “Let it alone,” pleaded the caretaker, “and I will cultivate the soil around it, fertilize it and prune it. Then just see if it doesn’t bear fruit.” This story illustrates how Jesus works in our lives to produce fruitfulness. Have you felt the pruning shears and the cultivator working you over? That’s the Lord having patience with you instead of pulling you up and throwing you away. Be patient with Him. He’s cultivating fruit.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. What three-fold promise is given to those who sow good seed and water it with their tears?
  2. What two things must we disregard when we go out to sow?
  3. What times of the day are mentioned for sowing? What spiritual lesson can be read here?
  4. Explain the “early and latter” rain.
  5. Name the two dangerous tendencies against which we are warned in our memory verse. Tell how they would affect the hoped-for yield.


Think how today’s lesson illustrates so many aspects and relationships of life: friendship, marriage, child/parent, business, church. You spend twenty or so years of your child’s life sowing—loving, forgiving, correcting, teaching, practicing, repeating. Sometimes it seems there will be little or no yield after all your efforts. But remember the verse: Don’t be weary in well-doing. There will be a “due season” in that child’s life when the hard work is forgotten and such precious fruit is a daily, delightful enjoyment.

In marriage it is also this way. For optimal results, each spouse must sow into the relationship precious seed. It must be watered with the tears of our intercession and prayer. The cultivator of self-denial must be at work daily, and the pesticide spray of forgiveness must be applied often. Every day add the fertilizer of laughter, mutual enjoyment, things done “just for love,” and physical affection. Stay expectant and hopeful for a wonderful harvest.

Our very first priority, of course, is God’s kingdom in us and its spread to the world around us. We must not let the wind or threat of storm hinder us from sowing the seed or going out to the field to gather the ripened grain! We shouldn’t be discouraged from sowing in the morning of our lives or in the evening time—young or old, we can be about the Father’s business of saving souls. Let us not be discouraged by the time it takes for growth and harvest!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


We live in a world today that is quite the opposite of patient. We no longer have to wait for a garden to grow in order to obtain produce to eat; we simply go to the grocery store and purchase what we need. We do not have to walk to town or rely on a horse to get us there. We are able to travel with rapid speed. We even cook differently since a meal can be readied in a matter of minutes rather than hours. Our information is no longer something we have to wait for, since we can have it at the touch of a fingertip. All of these things can be a detriment to our patience quotient. Many times we simply do not know how to wait.

Abraham and Sarah had been promised a child by the Lord himself, but in their long days of waiting, they decided to manipulate the plan. The end result brought great devastation. Impatience brings doubt and sometimes anger. Moses’ lack of patience caused him to strike the rock instead of speaking to it and he lost his chance to enter into the Canaan land.

Jesus said, “In your patience possess ye your souls.” The Lord works in his own time and his own plan. James 1 states, “Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Patience is a virtue that can only be accomplished when we have trusted and rested in the Lord.

—Sis. LaDawna Adams