Thursday, September 26, 2013



When the fields are ripe for harvest, it’s easy to see only the golden grains of wheat, shimmering, and ready to be harvested. When the trees of the orchard are heavy laden with fruit, it’s easy to forget there was first a season of quiet waiting.

A farmer drives up and down the rows and we marvel at the productivity of harvest time. It looks so satisfying. Fulfillment. Accomplishment. Harvest. We forget that there were weeks, months, entire seasons, when the ground was frozen hard. The farmer reaps what he sows and we forget all the days before when all he could do was watch, wait, and pray.
We wait, and all the while, unspoken questions. What will come of this? What is Your plan? How long? Are You hearing my prayers? 

There is a time to plant. There is a time to harvest. There is a time for everything under the sun.

But we’re impatient, aren’t we? We want the satisfaction of a plentiful harvest right now. We want to skip the waiting. We forget that He ordains the seasons. Fall's harvest comes only after Winter's soil is softened by Spring’s rain and Summer’s sun. We want to jump forward and skip the restlessness, the part where having faith is the only thing we actually have. 
Waiting is invisible and it makes us restless. Because waiting requires faith, not sight.

Waiting means that we trust God with the parts of our lives, our families, our churches, that are in a season He has ordained to remain ‘not yet.’ And so we wait with empty hands stretched high as our hearts groan a restless prayer. When? How long? Is this Your will?

In our restlessness, our hurry to begin the next season, we sometimes fail to see what He’s doing right now. Do our hearts only acknowledge His faithfulness at harvest time? It’s easy to give thanks when provision is visible. It’s natural to sing of His faithfulness when prayer has been answered with a harvest that is abundant, that we can touch and see.

But it’s in the seasons of quiet waiting that He so often deepens and ripens our faith. In the waiting He reminds us that His Son is enough, that He Himself is our provision, that His faithfulness has been forever demonstrated.
You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. (Psalm 65:9-10)
Before the farmer harvests the grain, there were dark, empty fields because God ordained the seasons before the harvest. When the fields hold nothing yet visible, God cares for the land, God waters the land, God enriches the soil, God provides streams of water, God drenches its furrows, God levels it’s ridges, God softens it with showers. In the waiting, God is at work!

And God has ordained the seasons of our lives just as He has ordained the seasons of the natural world. 
Waiting isn’t easy, and it's sometimes even painful. But the comfort is not just that His timing is different than our timing, it’s that the seasons of waiting are ordained by His hand. As we wait, He is caring for our lives with detailed, loving precision. He’s leveling ridges and softening hard ground. What sometimes feels to us like senseless waiting is actually a sovereign, loving God who’s arranged every details and is readying us for the season that will come next.

As we wait, God is softening us, preparing us, loving us, and being faithful to us. What we don’t want to miss when we’re in a season of waiting is Him
And this, this is who He is:
You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. (Psalm 65:11-13)