Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
James 1:4 “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
In my life experience, I’ve come to realize that much of life is divided into three seasons. We all know about the period of planting and harvest, but what about the in-between season. It’s a season that seems to be overlooked.
As much as we think that planting and harvest are the seasons where all the action is, in reality, it’s that middle season that determines the success of what was planted and the size of the harvest.
Both seedtime and harvest are action-oriented; the action of initial investment and then the act of drawing upon the final results.
It’s easy for us to get excited about these two ‘action’ seasons (especially harvest time).
We can get excited about seedtime because that’s when the vision is fresh in our minds: we have all these dreams, goals and aspirations. It’s when we brainstorm all these great ideas and directions that we can and want to take the vision. Often, seedtime is when encounters and connections are made. We expand our network and relationships with people whose experience and expertise is closely related to our vision; albeit ours may still in the planting phase.
And of course, harvest…oh boy the harvest! Everybody anticipates the harvest. That’s where we imagine that we’ll get to taste the fruits of what we have planted. This is where with think we can finally sit back and enjoy the product of our labor. That’s the place where we all go in our minds. It’s where we start to see that all the work, prayers and even tears are now beginning to pay-off. By the way, as a side note, the more bountiful harvest, the more work it takes to gather that harvest successfully. But that is a topic for another time.
Seedtime and harvest are great, but these past several days, I’ve been thinking more and more about that specific time in between these two seasons…what I call the Season of Waiting.
This period isn’t necessarily physically laborious but can certainly take a toll on your mind.
The Season of Waiting brings with it a certain set of tasks which can seem tedious and even uncomfortable.
Now it’s time for watering and weeding while we wait.
Think about it. The seed has already been planted in fertile freshly tilled soil. Now comes the part where we have to regularly water that soil. Watered with encouragement, fellowship, accountability, prayer and most of all, God’s Word.
Then there are the weeds. These are the things that can steal valuable nutrition from the soil; they choke-out and overgrow what we have planted.
When we are intentionally tending to what we planted, God puts a microscope on the weeds that need to be pulled. Things that we would have never thought of on our own, but they need to be removed for the growth to continue and the final harvest to commence. They are weeds of wrong attitudes, habits, beliefs or maybe relationships that can hinder what we are waiting for.
These weeds obscure from view, the first glimpse of that tender sprout of what we planted earlier.
Once those weeds have been identified, it’s on us to do the pulling. The longer we wait to pull the weeds, the longer it takes to see the first sprout.
Along these same lines, a sad fact is that there may be a lot of tender green sprouts coming up in our lives, but where there are weeds, the view is blurred…and then we miss the sprout we have been waiting for altogether; and when we miss the sprout, it takes us even longer to see that what we planted, way back in the day, is actually growing.
We maintain the garden of our lives; we continually groom our souls through a regular regimen of constant watering and weeding…and while we engage in the watering and weeding, we wait.
During the waiting, it can feel like our dreams and vision has died, and God forgot about us. We ask ourselves if the seeds we’ve planted are even doing anything. We’re tempted to give up on the routine of watering and weeding. Anxiety and discouragement try to play mind games with us.
While we’re waiting it can feel like nothing is happening. Here, we must endure because patience is being exercised, our character developed and our maturity is being strengthened.
When the time is right and if we have been faithful to tend to what we’ve planted, the harvest comes. Here we see, taste, touch and hear what we’ve been patiently waiting for.
Harvest is a time of celebration; but don’t forget. Once a specific harvest has taken place, it’s time to get back to work and repeat the cycle of seasons all over again; Seedtime, Waiting and Harvest.