Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Written by: Nathan Smith
Have you ever thought about how agriculture got started? It’s really fascinating when you stop and think about it. Anyone who has made it through early elementary school has a basic understanding of how a seed grows into a plant. We have the benefit of years of research and development to shape how we understand the process of planting, growing, and harvesting. Imagine you didn’t know any of that. Who was the first person to figure out that you could put a seed in the ground and eventually, with enough sunlight and water, it would turn into a plant that you could eat? What was that process like? How did they even come up with the idea?
Obviously if you’re a Jesus follower and a Bible believer you know that God probably helped Adam and Eve along with the idea. We know that Cain and Abel had a pretty healthy understanding of how agriculture worked. But even with God telling them about it, can you imagine Adam just staring at the ground every day and wondering what would happen? They may have failed in their other more well-known big test of faith, but I don’t think we give them enough credit for passing that one.
Sometimes our spiritual life can feel like we’re just staring at the ground and wondering if anything will ever grow. We invite our neighbor to church, but they never say yes. We get a chance to share the gospel with the barista at our coffee shop, but they just kind of politely smile and say thanks and move on without ever talking about it again. We faithfully serve in kids or student ministry, but we wonder if they actually hear anything we say and we feel like nothing ever changes in their lives. We pray for our family members that don’t know Jesus, but they keep running far from Him. Even in our own lives we pray for more evidence of the fruit of the Spirit, but it doesn’t feel like we’re growing.
But just like a real plant, things are happening even if we can’t see them. In Ecclesiastes 3, the writer talks about everything having a season. It’s a pretty famous passage and if you’re old enough you know that it was turned into a popular song in the 60s. A few verses after the famous part, there’s another verse that says, “God has made everything beautiful in its time.” It’s important to remind ourselves that we don’t always control the time. We can’t magically produce fruit overnight. Our job is to plant seeds and do our best to provide our version of water and sunlight and trust God to do the rest.
Prayer: God grant me the patience to wait for Your timing and to trust You. Give me the strength not to grow weary and the courage to continue planting. Please continue to show me opportunities where I can plant seeds for You. I thank You in advance for the harvest that You will reap in your time.