The Farmer went out to the field to plant some crops with his Little Farmer tagging along behind. After a hard day’s work the Farmer sat down on the porch to rest. The Little Farmer said, “Dad, are the crops ready yet?” The farmer replied, “No son. It’s going to take some time. But we can rejoice in a good day’s work that God has given us.” The Little Farmer frowned with disappointment. After a few weeks of good sunshine the Farmer was sitting on the porch again after a hard day’s work. The Little Farmer said, “Dad, are there any crops yet?” “The Farmer laughed, “No son. It’s going to take some more time. But we can rejoice in another good day’s work and all of the wonderful sunshine and rain that God has given us.” Little Farmer was growing impatient. He was ready to reap the harvest. A few weeks later the Little Farmer came rushing to his Dad, “Dad! Dad! The crops are ready! The crops are ready!” The Farmer rushed outside in disbelief. He let out a big belly laugh as he said, “No son. Those are just sprouts. We have a few more months before God will have the crops ready.” “Months!?”, the Little Farmer said with a sigh A few weeks later the Farmer came to the house with some dead plants in his hand. The Little Farmer was worried and discouraged and the Farmer could see it on his face. “Don’t worry little one. Only some of the crop is lost to disease. By the grace of God, there will still be plenty come harvest.” A few weeks later the Little Farmer caught some critters taking some of the crops. He said to the Farmer, “What’s the use. We should just give up. This farm is never going to grow.” “Just keep working!”, encouraged the Farmer. “The Lord will bless us if we just keep praying and working. Don’t give up.” A few more months and the Little Farmer was amazed when the Farmer brought some of the fruit of the harvest and filled the kitchen table with it. The Farmer saw the delight in the Little Farmer’s eyes and he said, “See. If you are patient, and pray hard, and work hard, the Lord always will provide in due season. You must never give up. Your faith must conquer your doubt. The Lord provides the increase in due season.”
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7) God causes the growth by His grace and love. God causes the growth in His time. God causes the growth in due season. To God be the glory!
From the parable above, may we learn to always have the proper perspective. Oftentimes, when churches want growth, they want it NOW! But if the nature that God has created teaches us anything, one thing is that natural growth takes time. We can’t always plant and expect a yield the same day. More often than not, it takes time. Rejoice the Lord has given the blessing to work in sharing the gospel with others. (Colossians 4:3)
All churches want to grow; don’t they? Don’t we want this church to grow? I hope so! We have a part in that. We have a work to do. The Lord’s work. “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding the work of the Lord knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58) But may we always have the proper perspective when it comes to our work. If we plant the crops it is God who has given us the seed and soil. If we water the crops it is God who has given us the water. If it is time that the crops need it is the Lord that provides the time. If it is the proper season that the crops needs the Lord provides that as well. Whatever we use to influence the yield of the crops we use what has first been provided by the Lord. To God be the glory!
Inevitably, not all of our work will bring forth growth. In the parable, we can see the discouragement that can arise in losing some of a crop to pestilence, death, and disease. Many times, the world will consume our good work in teaching the gospel with the corruption of ungodliness. But just because we lose some of the crop doesn’t mean all is lost. Just because not every seed planted brings forth fruit doesn’t mean we stop planting. It doesn’t mean we stop watering. It doesn’t mean we give up. Our work doesn’t change. It never changes. Our work is to have the faith to keep working and to not give up. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)
May we never forget the joy we have when the due season finally does arrive. May we never forget our happy hearts when the harvest is full. May that always encourage us to continue on in faithful service to the Lord. May it reinforce our faith in the power of God and His gospel. May it always inspire us to trust and obey. To work and not grow weary. To plant, and water, and pray. To praise God in the harvest. To God be the glory!