"Then Jesus said, 'God's kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows--he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps--harvest time!'"|
- Mark 4:26-29 MSG
Recently, I was fretting over a situation in my life that wasn't improving fast enough to suit me. I was getting frustrated and discouraged, and I asked the Lord in exasperation, "What can I do?!" As I prayed and studied His Word, He led me to the verses above, and He impressed upon my heart that I could learn a lot from the man that Jesus spoke of in this parable. That's when I realized that I had already sown my seed, where my situation was concerned. Now I needed to "go to bed and forget about it," like this man was doing, instead of fretting over what else could be done to produce faster results in the matter. Scripture goes on to say: "The seed sprouts and grows--he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help." As I read these comforting words, it felt like a tremendous weight was being lifted off my shoulders. God was in control. I didn't need to have all the answers. And once I had done my part, the rest was in God's hands. As I was going about my daily life, living for the Lord, He was busy working behind the scenes to make sure that the seeds I was sowing would produce an abundant harvest of blessings for His glory.
How might these timeless principles apply to your life today? Perhaps you have unsaved loved ones that you are concerned about. You have sown good seed into their lives--praying for them, setting a Christlike example for them, and ministering to them as the Lord leads you to. Now you need to leave them in God's hands, and entrust them to Him. Resist becoming impatient or frustrated. Otherwise, you may make the mistake of digging up your seed by speaking destructive words, or acting ungodly. Remember that just because you don't see your seeds growing yet, doesn't mean that they are not. Believe that your harvest is on its way, and that it's only a matter of time.
Maybe you have a ministry of some sort. You've been faithfully sowing seed, reaching out to others with the truth and love of God, with very little recognition or reward. You need to follow the example of the man in this parable--he planted his seed, "and then he went on with his other activities." (v.27 NLT) Go about your business, living your life for God, and following His lead. Don't let discouragement paralyze you, or cause you to lose heart. When you least expect it, the Lord will open up doors of opportunity for you, and He will promote you.
Perhaps your main concern right now is your job situation. You've sown good seed by being the best employee you could be, and yet you often feel like you're falling behind, more than getting ahead. Don't think that God doesn't appreciate your efforts. The world may not be able to offer you "job security," but when you do your work "as unto the Lord," you can bet that your future rests securely in His hands. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Scripture says: "The ones who do the planting or watering aren't important, but God is important because He is the one who makes the seed grow." (1 Corinthians 3:7 NLT) Keep planting your seed, but always remember that only God can make it grow and bring a harvest. So trust Him, lean on Him, and wait on Him. And the day will come when you will see it with your own eyes--it's harvest time!
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to sow good seed in every area of my life. When it looks like my sowing isn't producing much, remind me that You do some of Your best work behind the scenes. Thank You that as I do my part, and leave the rest to You, You will bring a harvest of blessings for Your glory!
- J. M. Farro