And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9.
Recently many people have taken to their backyards or farms for the planting season. As summer is upon us, we look forward to the time of the harvest and enjoying the fruits of our labors. Whether it be a tasty, tempting tomato to add alongside our country breakfast (or to our garden salad) or a wonderfully mouthwatering watermelon to refresh and cool ourselves off a bit on a hot summer afternoon, it is true that in order to delight in the benefits of a summer garden, we must first put in a considerable amount of hard work. About a month ago at our campgrounds here in Nicaragua, we began a multi-faceted gardening project. Our first phase has been to lay out the Nathan Fouts’ Memorial Garden, which is next to the tabernacle that also bears his name. In early May, students from Germantown Christian Schools initiated the gardens by planting nearly 300 plants, bushes and shrubs. A week later another brigade of students from the Refuge School of Ministry furthered the work by planting another 200 fruit trees in addition to various flowers and bushes. We are grateful to all the students who have helped to launch the gardening project with much success. Now, as we move ahead planting shade trees and reforesting the water sources, we look forward to the day when we may gaze upon the flowers in the splendor of their dazzling colors and we anticipate the day when we partake of the sweet fruit from one of the orchards. Our sight is set with expectation on the harvest, yet we mustn’t fail to remember that if we neglect all that which has been planted up until this point, we may not ever see a harvest. To sow seed only to thoughtlessly and irresponsibly care for it afterwards will guarantee a limited or minuscule harvest. To plant trees, flowers or crops leaving them haphazardly to the elements in flagrant disregard for their proper care and nurturing essentially makes our efforts futile.
In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul teaches the believers a fundamental principle of the universe and the Kingdom of God, namely, we reap what we sow. If we plant an apple seed, we can be assured of harvesting apples, not pears. This principle is straightforward and easy to ascertain. Then, in verse nine, based on this same principle, Paul instructs us in three things:
1) Let us not be weary in well doing
Firstly, this implies that it is possible to grow weary as we try to sow to the Spirit. It is quite easy to become tired along life’s pathway as we face the daily grind. The cares and toils of life are burdensome and unforgiving. Secondly, we sometimes go through times in our lives in which we desire to see fruits or to reap a harvest. We may even question why the harvest has seemingly been delayed. It is at these moments when we must remember Paul’s instructions to not allow ourselves to become weary. This is done by having a clear understanding of the principle of sowing and reaping, and by keeping our focus on the promised end result. Let us continue to sow to the Spirit awaiting an abundant harvest!
2) For in due season we shall reap
Again, building on the law of sowing and reaping, we are assured that at the indicated time, we shall reap our harvest. In Acts 1:7, Jesus tells His disciples that the Father has put the times and seasons in His own power. Therefore, if our Heavenly Father is in control of time and space, we can consider it settled that He is in charge of the due season of our harvest. Paul’s assertion here is definitive; our harvest is guaranteed.
3) If we faint not
How tragic for an anticipated harvest to be lost! There have been countless numbers of Christians who have sown faithfully with a steadfast determination who subsequently grew weary, became disheartened and then ceased to cultivate their fields altogether. Their diligent hand that once held the plough now sits idle. Afterwards their fields were overtaken by weeds and thistles which choked the life out of the crops. That which was to be a bountiful harvest yielded but only a meager amount. Jesus said in Luke 9:62 that those who have their hand on the plough, and then look back, are not fit for the Kingdom of God. We must cultivate our spiritual life every day. As with any summer garden or our project here in Nicaragua, there is work to be done daily. The weeds must be pulled, the plants need frequent watering and proper fertilization. Attention and care are administered so that one day soon we can appreciate the pleasant fruit of our abundant yield.
Let us be diligent and persistent in our walk with the Lord. Let us excel in well doing, sowing to the Spirit, watering and cultivating the seed, and waiting patiently for our due season!
Written by: Bobby Bailey- Missionary to Nicaragua