Last August 1st we closed on a house and moved in a few days later. It was a great time to move in; the former owner loved flowers and the front and back yards were ablaze with summer flora including hundreds of roses. We got to enjoy it all for a couple of months before fall set in. For the past six months, except for the few weeks of fall foliage, our yards looked like barren wastelands. In the winter, everything looks dead and you forget all about the reds, pinks and yellows that once adorned the outside.
At last, half a year later, the grass again looks lush and green and the spring flowers that I didn’t even know were there are valiantly making their way through the soil and blooming despite the chilly air. Every morning I look out to see if anything new has come up. You see, I didn’t plant these flowers and each time something else pops up it is a welcome surprise. So far there are daffodils, all different colors of hyacinths and lilies of the valley. Oh, and one of my favorite beacons of spring, a forsythia, is ablaze in the back.
At the same time, the Holy Spirit keeps whispering Galatians 6:9 to me: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” And we’ve all heard, “You reap what you sow!” This is true, of course, but the reaping isn’t always as predictable in the spiritual as it is in the natural. You may sow in one field and reap in another or sow in one season and reap many seasons later. Sometimes we give sacrificially to one person, then she moves away and we never hear from her again, but someone else comes along and blesses us, even though we’ve given nothing to them. Or other times we sow and sow and sow. We give, and give and give, when it hurts, when we’re weary, when we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel and we wonder if it’s all in vain. The time to harvest blessing just doesn’t come and we wonder if we’ll ever taste any fruit.
But these spring flowers remind me that the harvest will come, often in surprising ways. You’ve been praying and praying for financial provision, and all of a sudden you get offered a one-time job that pays exactly what you need. You’ve been asking God for a husband, and when you least expect it, a man takes interest in you and the relationship blooms before you even know what’s happening. You sow and sow and sow into your children and during a quiet moment, you realize you haven’t had to discipline them for that particular issue in weeks and they seem to have taken a big leap forward in emotional maturity.
We often don’t know how and when the harvest will come, but we WILL harvest. That’s the promise, and we can bank on it. God always rewards faithfulness.
“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.” (Deut 11:13-14)