A Planter’s Patience

I think God’s kingdom must work more like farming than manufacturing.

As I write about the experience of RICH’S RIDE I’m struck by how frequently Jesus talked about planting.

This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain … Mark 4:26-28

The Unseen Story relates an amazing incident in which God scattered seeds. I was entirely unaware of what He was doing, but it didn’t matter. The seeds sprouted without any action on my part. I got to experience the fruits of a harvest I didn’t plant.

Most of our culture has a manufacturing mentality. We expect to see results—our results—right now. We expect to see what we’ve accomplished at the end of the day, but farming doesn’t work like that.

I wonder how many opportunities we miss by insisting on our own notions of worthwhile outcomes. Do I destroy a “weed” that might have become a beautiful flower because it doesn’t conform to my expectations?

I wonder how often we quit when seeds don’t germinate immediately. Do I destroy new seedlings by digging them up to see how they’re doing?

Mostly we never fully appreciate the effects of our actions. Persevering, doing what’s right, keeping commitments, and following the path—those are hard things when we can’t see any immediate fruits from the effort and sacrifice. The important things don’t happen overnight. Maybe that’s why Jesus used planting analogies.

God used RICH’S RIDE to scatter seeds. He placed those seeds in the right lives and added fertilizer and water. Results from the ride sprouted and matured in places and ways I’ll never see. We needed to proceed with faith, hope, and love, trusting God to use our efforts even when we didn’t understand the specifics.

Knowing God’s at work, and knowing He always works for good, means being patient enough to allow the seeds to grow. And it means keeping my eyes open for opportunities to harvest.

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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