A Reflection on “The Sower’s Song” by Andrew Peterson

by Grace Pike April 6, 2023

As you celebrate Holy Week and prepare for Easter Sunday, I pray this reflection on “The Sower’s Song” by Andrew Peterson helps you cherish the beauty of the resurrection and the immeasurable hope we have in Christ.

Have you ever summited a mountain at sunrise? Felt your heart swell with longing and hope at the appearance of green after a long winter? Been overwhelmed with love?

That is how I feel listening to “The Sower’s Song” by Andrew Peterson. 

Peterson is a well-known wordsmith in Christianity. The Lord has gifted him a passion for sharing the power of truth, beauty, and goodness in Scripture and the arts. Thousands of believers will listen to Peterson’s Resurrection Letters albums in preparation for Easter this year, and his song “Is He Worthy?” is enjoyed globally by congregations every week.  Though he has authored multiple award-winning books, teaches classes on writing, and founded a nonprofit ministry for Christians in the arts, my first exposure to Peterson was his 2015 album The Burning Edge of Dawn.

Listening through the album, I was immediately captivated by how beautifully he weaves together truth-filled words of praise, lament, thanksgiving, and prayer. (And sometimes all within the same piece.) As it always is with the best songwriters, Peterson does not simply sing songs. He is a storyteller who paints worlds with his words. 

Amidst my early years of college and Christianity, Peterson’s lyrics provided a safe place to feel and reflect with the Lord. Enjoying that music while spending time in God’s Word became a regular rhythm of grace during that season. Then, one day, what had become just another part of my routine yielded a remarkable moment with the Lord that still impacts me today.

When I arrived at the last song on The Burning Edge of Dawn, I was not paying much attention. My mind was swirling with lingering guilt from an argument earlier in the week. I was trying to figure out how to afford the next semester of school, battling depression, and struggling to stay on top of all my relational and logistical responsibilities.

Suddenly, the first verses cut through the chaos:

Oh God, I am furrowed like the field
Torn open like the dirt
And I know that to be healed
That I must be broken first
I am aching for the yield
That You will harvest from this hurt

The words disarmed me. This gentle acknowledgment of brokenness and ache stilled my internal spiral, calming my mind as my soul listened to the truth of God’s sovereignty over pain. As I continued to listen, the prayer shaped by John 15:1-10 became my own:

Abide in me
Let these branches bear Your fruit
Abide in me, Lord
Let Your Word take root
Remove in me
The branch that bears no fruit
And move in me, Lord
As I abide in You

Tears began to spill from my closed eyes. Suddenly, I was there—staring “at the bright edge of the garden, at the golden edge of dawn, at the glowing edge of spring.” Even surrounded by the darkness of this present world, hope that every sad thing will come untrue blossomed in my chest.

Two minutes in, I was on my knees. The Lord saved me by opening my eyes to the beauty of the gospel through reading the Book of Isaiah. As Peterson sang the promises written in Isaiah 55:10-13, I felt the joy of my salvation renewed: 

As the rain and the snow fall
Down from the sky
And they don’t return but they water the earth and bring they forth life
Giving seed to the sower, bread for the hunger
So shall the word of the Lord be with a sound like thunder
And it will not return, it will not return void
We shall be led in peace
And go out with joy
And the hills before us
Will raise their voices
And the trees of the field will clap their hands as the land rejoices

Truth warmed my soul like a fire illumining the room of a weary traveler. I already believed, but the Lord helped my unbelief. The surpassing worth of knowing Jesus overwhelmed me, and there was no doubt:

The tomb that once held the body of Christ broken on my behalf is empty.

The dawn of spring shouted a tangible reminder that the King who brings life from death rose and will return. The crescendoing melody wrapped around me:

And instead of the thorn now
The cypress towers
And instead of the briar the myrtle blooms with a thousand flowers
And it will make a name
Make a name for our God
A sign everlasting that will never be cut off
As the earth brings forth sprouts from the seed
What is sown in the garden grows into a mighty tree
So the Lord plants justice, justice and praise
To rise before the nations till the end of days

Listening to “The Sower’s Song” brought a powerful moment of clarity to my spiritual life. God’s Word proclaimed in Peterson’s song washed cobwebs from my walk with Jesus and refocused my desire to be a faithful ambassador of this coming Kingdom. Every April since then, as I watch the frost melt from new buds of life, the lyrics play through my mind: 

It [God’s Word] will not return void
We shall be led in peace
And go out with joy

Whatever season you are in, I encourage you to reflect on these words in Isaiah. Marvel at God’s holiness in the throneroom of Isaiah 6. Be emboldened by the promise of God’s presence to the repentant in Isaiah 43. Behold the suffering Messiah foretold in Isaiah 53—the Lamb who was “pierced for our transgressions” and “crushed for our iniquities.” Sing with joy at Christ’s accomplishment of present justification and that you are sealed by the promised Holy Spirit for future glory.

Yes, the pain is real. But the promises are true.

Beloved, the face of Jesus will shine with such glory we will no longer need sunlight. His nail-pierced hand will wipe every tear from the eyes of his Bride. Our redeemed bodies will stand in the presence of the Prince of Peace, delighting in His majesty as death dies. Then the Sower of every flourishing promise will dwell with us for all eternity.

As you walk through the darkness, know the dawn will come. As you bear the thorn, remember the branches will bear fruit. As you feel the ache, trust that God is sowing seeds of grace even in your pain.

And the Sower leads us.