And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows;he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
~ Mark 4:26 - 29
This week as I was out visiting hospice patients, I found myself on a road surrounded by empty cotton fields. I stopped and noticed the mounded rows, ready to begin a new season of growth.
Growing up in a farming community has created an element of understanding of just how much work goes into preparing the ground so that the seeds will have the best possible chance for a successful growing season.
It's a real blessing to know that each of us are cared for by God like the fields that I encountered this week. As a kid I can remember that often somewhere along a fence line of a field, you might find a pile of stones that had been removed from the field, so that equipmemt wouldn't be damaged, or to prevent a seed from being properly planted.
Often when God begins to prepare us for something, we might find that we hesitate to surrender, or change. The farmer knows that unless the field isn't completely ready, a bountiful harvest may not be possible.
It's funny how Jesus shares about farming in parables when the reality is, he is talking about us.
Making ourselves ready takes a lot of work. And sometimes it's not about work. I also learned that sometimes the fields must be allowed to rest, so that when the time is right, the field will be ready to begin again.
The same applies to us. Just because we may feel that God isn't doing something in our life, doesn't mean that we, like the field during rest, isn't being readied for a greater season of growth.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.