I’m a city girl. I like my busy streets and my Starbucks on-the-go. I liked graduating high school with 600 other people. I like going to the grocery store (in the same city–not driving to a different one, mind you) and not seeing anyone I know. That’s what I like–that’s where I’m comfortable. With that being said, it’s safe to say that I don’t know anything about farming. And here in Kearney, I’m surrounded by a bunch of farmers and small-town kids. Although I really don’t know anything at all about what they do, I do know that harvest is important– very important. Harvest is the process or period of gathering crops. Whether you have a good harvest or a bad harvest decides your income for the year. If you don’t produce any crops, you don’t make money–simple as that. Now, I’m not writing this to teach you about farming. The concept of “harvest” and a “dry season” is something God put on my heart back in July. To be honest, I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time, but I just felt like the timing wasn’t right–probably because I’ve been in a dry season of my own. But for some reason, today, God has laid it on my heart again–conveniently during Harvest season (God’s cool).
Do you ever get that feeling that something bigger or more exciting should be happening in your life? Maybe you feel like by now, you should be more successful or you should know what you want to do with your life or you should have found that special person that you love by now. You feel like all of these should already be happening…but they’re just not. If you feel this way at times, I promise you that you aren’t alone. But how about with God? Do you ever feel like sometimes He isn’t doing enough? Sometimes I feel like God should have blessed me with more. Sometimes I look at all of the good things I’ve done and all of the prayers I’ve said and think, “man, why isn’t God working the way I want Him to?” Feeling convicted yet? Same. In our culture, it is so easy to get stuck in this mindset. We are so used to instant gratification–waiting (and sometimes even failing) seems like the end of the world.
Here’s the reality: Our God is the God who works wonders. He is the One who walked on water, the One that turned water into wine. He is the One who made the blind see, the lame walk, and the dead come back to life. This is real, and this is who God is. But sometimes, God isn’t so loud–sometimes He is silent. This silence is hard, and it’s easy for your faith to feel dry. But remember that silence does not mean a lack of presence. God is there; He sees you, He’s listening, and He knows your heart. He knows every detail about you. We see this in Psalm 139. This talks about how God knows every little thing about us. He knows what we are going to say before we say it and what we are going to do before we do it. Even in His silence, God is always there. Psalm 139:5-6 says “You are all around me–in front and in back– and have put your hand on me. Your knowledge is amazing to me; it is more than I can understand.”
But what if?
We know that God loves us and is always with us, even if he isn’t performing miracles right in front of our eyes. But there’s always that “what if.” What if things don’t go your way? What if you’re still stressed out? What if you still can’t see His plan? What if He’s still silent? What if the ground is too dry, and you don’t think you’ll harvest? Then what?
Lets take a look at Psalm 126:4-6. “Restore our fortunes, LORD, as streams renew the desert. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with harvest.” Did you catch the command from God? Plant in tears. For me, this means that even when I am stressed to the max, too busy to see the big picture, and taken aback by God’s silence in my life, I need to keep planting. I need to keep trusting. I need to consciously remind myself that He is the great I AM. That the same God that makes the blind see and the lame walk, the same God that loved me so much that he sent his son, Jesus, to this earth to die for me and then raised him from the dead in complete victory, is the same God that is silent. Even in His silence, He is good–He has a purpose and a plan.
Notice that the verse says that “those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” They WILL harvest! That is a promise–and God’s promises aren’t empty! How exciting is this?! Remember and obey His command to “Trust the Lord with all your heart” (Proverbs 3:5). Obeying Him is your responsibility–the outcome is God’s!
So keep planting, even when it’s hard–even when you think it won’t do any good. Persist in prayer. Be in a relentless pursuit to know your Creator. Fall in love with the love that loved you first. Listen with an open heart. And enjoy the harvest when it comes.
“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one warrior who will save; he will rejoice over you in gladness; he will be quiet in his love; he will exult over you in shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17