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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A harvest will come in the future

by Pam Roth
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7 – 10

Depending on where you live, you may be experiencing a harvest of fruits and vegetables from your gardens, or for us along the Gulf Coast – a harvest of shrimp.

Growing up in the Midwest, I vividly remember the farmers out in the fields – late at night in the fall driving their combines through the rows of corn.  There was something magical about seeing the lights of the tractor in a sea of corn on a crisp, moonlit night.  Row by row, methodically the farmer would take down rows of corn as he swiped through his corn field.  When it was extremely dry, the movement of the combines would create a cloud of dust in the fields that would roll across the roads.  Reminding us that no matter how intriguing the process looked from a distance – it all added up to a lot of hard work and patience.

And for the folks that harvest shrimp along the Gulf Coast, the same is true.  The equipment for harvesting may be different; but the task is still laborious.  Setting their sights on bringing in a large harvest of shrimp, many of these men and women will spend days out in the Gulf patiently waiting for the right spot to drop their nets.   

You and I may not be driving a combine through rows of corn or dropping nets in the midst of the Gulf of Mexico; however, we may be in a time of harvest – a time of reaping what we have sown.  If that is true, I’m not sure what that will look like for you.  
But, I do know that depending on what you have sown, you will surely reap a predictable harvest in the future.

Yes, it is true – you will reap not just any harvest but a predictable harvest.  Whether it be good or bad; joy or sorrow; plenteous or want; health or sickness; love or hate; forgiveness or unforgiveness; life or death - your harvest depends on you and what you have sown in the past.

The major question is when will the harvest come?  Just like the farmers in the Midwest or the shrimpers along the Gulf Coast a harvest often requires patience.  Sometimes, we may see immediate results of what we have sown; but more than likely it will take time to see the end results from the seeds we have sown.  It is during this time of waiting that most of us grow weary.  For the most part, we are all in a hurry to see the fruit of our labor.

Often, we wonder why it takes so long to see some of the best things returned to those that have sown good seeds – a kind word or deed, a loving child, a faithful spouse, a trustworthy friend, some extra cash at the right time, peaceful surroundings or an answer to a prayer.

For others, this time of waiting can be scary because they know sooner or later what they have sown is going to catch up with them.  I knew a person who had abused her body by smoking cigarettes from the time she was a teenager.  This person once told me, “I know that I am going to pay for this someday; but in the meantime, I am going to have one more cigarette.” Unfortunately, she continued to smoke up to the day that she died of lung cancer.  You may not be abusing your body; but you may be withholding forgiveness, love or a smile.  

Remember…what you sow, sooner or later you will reap.

What kind of seeds are you sowing?  Do you know that it is inevitable that someday, you are going to reap a predictable harvest?

Steps to a predictable harvest in the future:

  1. Just like there are laws of gravity and physics, there is a law of sowing and reaping. 
  2. Sow seeds of kindness, honesty, unity, peace, patience, joy, love, justice and mercy.
  3. Realize that you may not always see immediate results in the sowing and reaping process.
  4. Remember, it is never too late to remove destructive seeds in your life; however, there may be consequences that you will have to live with. 
  5. Keep on sowing good seeds.
Feel free to comment.

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