Updated: Sep 3, 2020
The bible refers to the life of a farmer on many occasions. The farmer understands seasons, and what is required in that season. Whether it’s time to sow or time to reap a harvest. Whether the rains will soon come or to prepare for prolonged heat. The simplicity of the farmer’s life comes from the knowledge of cycles. That what has happened will happen again, most likely in a similar way. Could it be that our earthly life is predictable?
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 8
Perhaps our prayer should be, Lord help us to interpret the times?
The way we live today is high stress and high confusion, we are never sure of anything; things seem to be changing so fast that it’s hard to keep up. There is only one that is constant and will never change: God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13: 8). Isn’t it funny that everything seems to be changing in our experience and yet the one who created ALL things is unchanging. It’s an arrow, telling us where to put our focus. Focus on the constant. King Solomon in his wisdom shared with us the first ‘STAY CALM’ t-shirt in Ecclesiastes 1: 9.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” ~ Ecclesiastes 1: 9
Whatever we are facing has been faced by others before. They made it, and so will we. Even this deadly COVID19 pandemic is not the first of its kind. History tells of many pandemics which people lived to narrate and record in journals. People lived to tell the story! As difficult as the times were, eventually a new normal was developed; people laughed, sang songs, and danced once again. This too shall pass. As painful and difficult a time as it is, it will never last forever.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16: 33
Struggling with feelings of inadequacy? Most of us get consumed with anxiety surrounding our success or feeling like a failure. Everywhere we look we are reminded of what we should be, and where we should be by now. We spend hours reading up on how to be a success and watching YouTube videos to get direction on how to turn our lives around for success. We forget to go back to the Creator of all things to seek His advice. The bible shares the recipe for success.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” ~ Psalm 1: 1 - 3
This scripture begins by pointing out the impact of the company we keep on our future. Do we really look at the people we spend most of our time with and what we spend that time doing? Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15: 33). We strengthen or weaken our own faith by the company that we keep. Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27: 17).
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” ~ Jim Rohn
I had to look up the word “delight” because I wanted to understand this scripture fully. To delight is to take great pleasure. Blessed is the one who avoids evil, takes great pleasure in the laws of God, and focuses one’s mind on the word at all times. Do we do this? Do we walk through life with a spiritual lens? I believe that if we all did this more, we would have less stress and worry in our lives. The person who lives this way will flourish and produce fruit in season.
There’s a season for bearing fruit but only if we’ve been correctly positioned and nourished before that time comes. The tree is planted (it’s in position) by streams of water (plants need water to survive), and the fruit will come in season (at the appointed time). Isn’t God good! We don’t have to be freaked out or lose our peace. The season will come. We just have to be positioned and nourished. Keeping far from evil ways, and feeding on the Word of God. That’s all. The promise under these conditions is that everything we do will prosper. Not everything we think! Everything we DO.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” ~ Galatians 6: 7 - 9
It seems so straightforward but we are so deeply immersed in popular culture that we lose our bearings of what is true and what is not. There is no instant anything! There is no magic bullet. God has revealed to us the hidden things in His Word (Colossians 1: 26). There’s a season to work and a season to enjoy the fruits of our labor. A farmer cannot sow seeds in a small garden and expect a bumper harvest to match that of a person who has sown a big area. It doesn’t make sense, and yet we are all guilty of this kind of thinking sometimes. Comparing ourselves to the success of others and not to the work and time they put in to get to where they are. Let’s take pride in our small garden, and work it fully to get all that we can out of it. Ask yourself, have you done all that you can do with your talents, knowledge, and experience in your area of gifting? Have you pushed yourself like a farmer who needs a bumper harvest in season?
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” ~ Zechariah 4: 10
Just start where you are. The time to get started is now! Give it all that you’ve got. That big dream can be accomplished by the simple act of daily asking oneself: What can I do better today? One day you will be glad you did. Experience is the best teacher. All you need to know will become apparent along the way. The highest form of learning is doing. Every day we are building our tomorrow through our decisions and actions.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” ~ Ecclesiastes 9: 10
Legacies aren’t made in heaven. They are made here on earth by the way we live. Treasures are not stored up in heaven in the after life, they are stored while we are here on earth. The opportunity to be the hands and feet of the Lord is not in heaven, God won’t need us to be his representatives then, He will be there. This life has opportunities for us to seize, our crown will be waiting for us in heaven. We are on a mission. Do not get distracted.
“This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” ~ Psalm 118: 24
This is our hope and our confidence: We serve a God who calls us friend and child. God wants us to win at life. He desires that we prosper, even as our souls prosper (3 John 2). I believe it’s time for us all to be bold in our faith. To be radical believers who stand on the word of God and reject the untruths of the world.
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” ~ Numbers 23: 19
What will you begin to do today to stand on the promises of God?
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