What If I've Been Waiting for a Long Time? (Part 4)
Imagine with me what it may have been like to grow up on an ancient Israeli farm. The long winter months have reduced the once plentiful pantries to empty shelves, and the family is now living on meager rations and dreaming about a loaf of bread fresh from the oven. Suddenly the rain begins to pour, and the once-dusty fields are becoming rivers. The father says to his young son, “Come, it’s time to sow.” Together they walk out to the barn where the father climbs into the loft and pulls down huge bags of grain.
“Father!” the young boy exclaims, “now we can make bread!” The father replies, “No, my son. This grain is not for eating. Come, I will show you what it is for.” He fills a sack with grain, and they wade into the flooded fields. Then the father does the most absurd thing; he begins throwing the grain into the water! That night at the dinner table, the little boy eats his paltry portion and wonders why his father threw all that grain away. Many weeks will go by before he understands, but one day the water will recede and the little boy will step outside and behold a miracle. The fields will be full of tiny sprouts, racing heavenward to produce a harvest of golden grain. It was this ancient farming technique that Solomon was referring to when he wrote, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” (Eccles. 11:1, NKJV).
Throwing perfectly good grain into the water when you are hungry is a difficult thing to do, but what is more difficult is waiting many days for the harvest. This is why Paul encourages us by saying, “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9, emphasis added).
It is amazing and sobering to think that we are all planting seeds all the time. Sowing and reaping are not confined to putting money in an offering plate. That cheeseburger you ate, that movie you watched, that comment you made, that time you spent with your family, that book you read—everything you do is a seed that will produce a harvest (good or bad) in the future. Be careful what you plant in this season because you will eat it in the next.
In the end our lives are a sum total of the decisions we have made—a harvest, if you will, of what we have sown. You can’t usually change today’s harvest by sowing good seeds today, but if you will determine to sow the right seeds day in and day out, in “due season” you will reap your harvest if you “faint not.”If you have been waiting for a long time and still have not seen the fulfillment of God’s promise for your life, keep sowing good seeds and beware of impatience. Allow God to do the work in your heart that He is trying to accomplish. The children of Israel walked in circles in the wilderness decade after decade because they did not learn their lesson. Some people keep going in circles because they never learn what God is trying to teach them, and they never move to the next phase because they never pass the test. Stop squirming and wiggling and trying to get through with this as quickly as possible, but be faithful and patient. When you pass the test, He will lead you forward.