A big, beautiful cherry tree resides on my in-law’s property out in the country. I always enjoy picking figs from their fig tree during the fall, yet every year, I forget that they have a cherry tree. I don’t know why I forget so easily, but it’s always a sweet surprise when they remind me each summer! During our visit this weekend, my in-law’s gave my husband and me two buckets to fill with as many cherries as we could pick.
As we began to pick cherries, I started to think about how amazing it was that I had access to delicious cherries for free because my in-law’s have a tree of their own. I felt so blessed, because it was an easy harvest. All I had to do was reach for the best cherries and there they were – ready for me to enjoy. I expressed that thought to my husband, but his response is what really resonated with me. He said, “We only have these cherries because someone took the time and effort a long time ago to make it all happen”. His words began to sink into my heart as I thought about the importance of the season of sowing.
I think so many of us just want the harvest. We want to be flourishing and thriving at every moment, but don’t necessarily want to put in the effort and time. We want the cherry tree without the digging, the planting, the pruning and the waiting. I truly believe our lives are going to be the most beautiful, God-glorifying and blessed when we are willing to sow when it is time to sow.
As I reflect on this concept, I find myself glancing at the past couple of years of my life. Investing in my marriage, education, relationship with God and my book have all been difficult at times. There have been many moments when it has felt as though I was sowing on a hot day without any breeze. Moments like these often discouraged me from being persistent with my purpose. It’s hard to keep going when there seems to be no wind at your back, no results and no point. But there is a point when we are working for the Lord – He is faithful.
To anyone who is currently in the season of sowing, I want to encourage you to keep on sowing because it is not in vain. When God asks us to be obedient and sow, He comes through with the harvest. The Master Creator of all vegetation created the very principle of farming – when you sow, there is a harvest. We cannot expect to flourish with abundant lives if we do not put in the time and sacrifice. So many of us want to be living out the harvest season when it is the time to be working – the time to be praying, studying, dreaming, planning, investing, creating and writing. Even if these working seasons are in the shadows, in the moments when we feel most unseen, we have to understand deep within our souls that He sees our work and will reward us in His time.
It is important to mention that we should be sowing out of obedience, not out of fear. When we sow out of fear, we don’t sow with intentionality or rest. Rather, we believe that it’s up to us entirely to make everything come to pass, frantically trying to do everything instead of what God specifically wants us to do. When we sow out of obedience, however, we are doing our part and trusting God with the rest. We know that He will do His part as we obey Him with what is in front of us, while resting in His presence along the way. The season of sowing involves trust and surrender as we work diligently while patiently waiting for Him to bring us into the season of harvest.
Don’t give up too soon. Just because there may be no wind at your back, no evident results or no apparent point, it does not mean your sowing is in vain. The harvest will come, friend, because He is forever faithful. Just remain obedient to Him as you trust that He will bring you into a season of harvest at the right time, just like the cherry tree. In His plan, more people will be touched by the sowing season than we could ever imagine. It all starts with a seed that someone took the time to sow with obedience. So don’t grow weary – the harvest is coming.
“And now, God, do it again—
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads
of blessing” – Psalm 126:4-6 MSG