Ready, Set, Wait!
Well, the last job is done for the winter—tilling the garden. Dear old Tilly is out there now, purring away until the gas is gone. A good wash and she gets to rest for the season.
The garden is ready, but for what? It’s ready to rest; however, any seeds that are still in the ground are also ready to sprout as soon as the weather gets warmer. Even while the snow is on the ground, that seed is ready—ready for the sun!
Luke eight begins by telling us that Jesus and His disciples went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. Verses 2-4 tell of Mary Magdalene’s deliverance from demons, the care given to Jesus and his disciples by new converts, and that a crowd had gathered to hear Him speak. It’s not by accident that the next few verses in Luke eight are about soil. As though to encourage the sowers, Jesus tells the parable of the four soils: wayside, rocky, thorny and good. Our responsibility is to give the Word–spread the Seed. There’s nothing wrong with the seed—the Word of God, and there may be nothing wrong with the sower—YOU! Doing a heart-check is always good to be sure that the Spirit has free reign and our motives are correct, but the fruit of the hearer is not our responsibility. I can no more make someone respond to the Word of God than I can make my tomato plants grow! How comforting!
HOWEVER, when we ARE the soil, we are the receiver of the seed—how we respond IS our responsibility. 1 Corinthians 15:58 gives us some pointers:
Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Did Jesus see fruit for His labor? Absolutely; however, He also wept over Jerusalem because He knew the condition of many hearts and that His own people would soon demand His crucifixion. Jesus knows everything. He remained faithful to His calling to the very end of His earthly life.
Always abounding in the work of the Lord is the fruit of always bounding in the Word of the Lord! Be ready. Even though you may be in a “winter” time of fruitfulness, know that God is always working in your heart, your children, your ministry. There’s something beautiful about a garden lying fallow. The summer work is done. The harvest has been gathered. Snow is on the way! Even so, as the ground rests, it waits for spring. As we ‘wait’ for the moving of the Spirit, may we realize that ‘spring’ may be just around the corner!