Jun 1, 2017

Waiting for A Harvest

It’s that time of the year again when gardens are tilled and seeds or plants are planted, watered, and then we wait…and wait… and wait…

If you think about, it’s amazing how long it takes for the seeds to germinate; and then how long it takes from germination until we see flowers. Then how long it takes until the crops come up and we can eat the produce…

It’s several months until we see anything for all our labor; if we see anything at all, because there are many conditions beyond our control such as weather and the quality of the plants and seeds.

This is true for all crops including flowers, trees, and vegetables.

Another huge factor is the condition of the soil; is it clay, sandy, or black? Each serves a different purpose depending upon what type of crop is planted.

But it should noted that the condition of the soil didn’t come that way by chance. This soil was prepared by the gardener ahead of time in anticipation of what was to come.

In fact, it takes a tremendous amount of work to turn untamed land to good soil: Rocks must be removed (again and again), thorns pulled up, and hard places roto-tilled to loosen up the soil, because even the best soil must be broken before it can become beautiful.

And then, as I said, we wait…this is how things grow.

So, is it worth it???? Is it worth all the arduous work just to even prepare the soil to receive the seed or plant? And why must we wait; why can’t things happen faster?

If you’ve done gardening for any length of time you know that the answer is “yes”, that it is worth all of the hard work that goes into preparing soil and planting for the future harvest.

Being able to pick rich and fresh produce from soil less than one hundred yards from the kitchen door is so very much worth all of the effort and the waiting period!

And before you know it, it’s State Fair Time! Time for ribbons and trophies!

But what about areas of our lives where have been waiting for a harvest?

We are not naturally good soil for God to plant into us His Word

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Too many Christians are content with remaining un-tilled soil. We delude ourselves by thinking that the condition of the soil doesn’t matter.

We don’t want God to point out where we need to be changed. We prefer to remain rocky and weedy. We prefer to try to grow things despite the resistance in our lives

None of us are beyond God’s ability to change us. But His change takes time: - It doesn’t happen in a single day. Even so, He can change us from a desert land to a fruitful garden

My friend Rev Bob Tolliver wrote:
“Trees do not grow year-round. In the Spring, life begins to flow and leaves begin to appear During the Summer a new layer of fiber slowly begins to form under the bark.

In the Fall, the new wood has created a new "circle" from the most recent growth and begins to mature. Interestingly, it is during the most desolate and severe season that the hardening and maturing takes place ---- the winter.

During those times, it appears that life is gone and the tree is dead, but the life as simply retreated to the roots leaving the outward appearance of death.

All of that to say that perhaps the most important seasons of our walk with the Lord are during those times when we feel we have spiritually "flat-lined" and have lost any ground gained.

Just the opposite is true. It's through those "dark nights of the soul" when we can become the most mature ---- if we don't fight it.”

Soil that was called “good ground” didn’t come that way by chance. This soil was prepared by the GARDENER ahead of time. But it was not the soil that did the work

To be good soil that receives God’s Word: I must be open, receptive to God and His Word. There can’t be resistance or reluctance on my part to having stones removed. I must welcome it daily. I must allow it to change my thoughts, attitudes, prejudices.

Secondly, every area of my life needs to be reachable/available. ALL the ground in a garden is tilled for fruitfulness. ALL areas of my life need to be tilled by the Holy Spirit. This takes time, but it must be done. Again, He is the One who will do the work; we cooperate.

The key ingredient to good soil being productive is how much God is really in control of our lives, and how obedient and responsive we are to His Word.

The Holy Spirit has come to help us bear fruit to be productive, appointed to bear fruits that honor the Father. And there will be a bountiful harvest of divine fruit because my Heavenly Father has been working with great skill in His Garden and I chose to respond to His work in humility and with my heart.

Our Heavenly Father has a Garden that He has been working on; a garden that He is proud of, filled with blue-ribbon produce. A Garden that He longs to share with the world. It’s the lives of you and I!

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Galatians 6:9 NKJV)

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