Every spring I am inspired anew to plant and grow the most beautiful garden ever. I make a trip to the local greenhouse, perusing and buying seeds and seedlings to set out in soft, fertile soil. It’s so exciting, and sometimes I manage to drag my reluctant family into the adventure. The sun is shining so brightly after a cold, dark winter and the breezes are so refreshing, carrying the scent of spring, that I can’t help but hope in new life and the promise of a harvest.
The promise of a harvest.
When I get to planting it’s an act of faith, really – putting seeds in the ground and covering them up, believing they will die so new life will sprout. I watch, often impatiently, for the tender shoots pushing up through the soft earth. Then comes the tough part – waiting. And weeding. And watering. And weeding again. Waiting still longer. Watering a bit more. Sometimes I get tired of it and I walk away for a while. But eventually, all the hard work pays off. A harvest. What we’ve been waiting for.
I have found that when I plant seeds spiritually, I also do that with hope and faith that there will be a harvest. When I water, I am trusting that God will give the increase. But I have to confess, sometimes I grow weary of planting and watering. Sometimes I so very selfishly long to see the harvest. And sometimes, I may be looking at the harvest without knowing it. I know I’ve got blinders on and seldom see what God sees. I wonder if I don’t often miss the harvest because I don’t recognize it when I see it.
But my point is this – am I willing to be the planter and the water-bucket-carrier and let God work out the rest? Am I willing to be faithful here, now? Am I willing to be person number 4, number 11, and number 57 in a long string of planters and waterers in the life of one person? Am I willing to be just one of many gardeners in the life of one? Am I willing to plant and water, trusting God to give the increase?
I have an enormous propensity towards “closing the deal” so that I can feel like I really made a difference the life of another person. My flesh wants to take the credit. It’s hard work to plant and water, to wait for the harvest, to journey with one who has the deepest, darkest hurts you could ever imagine. I long for a break-through, for the harvest. And yet, God has called us to something bigger – to walk with those who need love, compassion, mercy and grace the most. To wait with those who hardly dare to believe in a tiny glimmer of hope. To allow God to give the increase. To believe that He will. And to believe that if the harvest is not for me to witness, God will do it in His time and in His way.
Are you willing to be the water-bucket-carrier today in the life of someone right in front of you? So often we think we have to go looking for one to carry water to, when they are really already right in front of us. Who has God put in your path today?
Be faithful, here, now.
We work for the harvest we may never see.
And while we wait and work, faith and trust grows in our own hearts.