“First a leaf . . then the heads of wheat . . finally the grain ripens.” Mark 4:28 NLT
“Harvest comes in God’s time – after you work diligently, obey fully, and trust God’s process.”
My thoughts today are to “trust the process.”
Who likes to wait for what they want? But aren’t we usually better when we do? Waiting seems to encourage appreciation for what you gain, while promoting wiser use and better care of what you have. There is a better sense of the necessity of effort, importance of time, and reality of cost. The quicker and easier you receive something, the less intrinsic value you attribute to it.
To most of us, now is more satisfying than later. That’s why charge accounts, and then credit cards, replaced “layaway accounts” for merchants and customers. Just today, the Associated Press reported “Walmart stores are bringing back what customers have been asking for: layaway.” You may not remember or know what such a thing as a “layaway account” was. If you could not pay cash, the store would “lay the item away” while you made small payments as you were able , interest-free, and pick up your merchandise when it’s paid in full. Only when you had fully paid for the item, you took it home. That process of affordable sacrifice created anticipation and appreciation. With credit cards, a store completes a sale more quickly and the customer goes home with purchase in hand, ready for immediate enjoyment without the pain of payment. Instant gratification, you want now; cost, you happily defer till later. Too much too quickly is at too great a cost.
Most of us are not content with process. We want what we want when we want it, and we want too much now, regardless of the real cost known or unknown to us. People buy houses they cannot afford, cars too expensive, and expenditures too extravagant while living on borrowed time and burdensome debt. Our nation, like too many other countries, is being slowly destroyed by a system of debt we cannot afford. Debt destroys our marriages homes, and lives. Our nation’s debt is a reflection of its citizens’ financial addictions, as much as its politicians’ misbehavior.
At Creation, God decreed, “Let there be . . and there was! . . then God saw everything He had made, and indeed ti was very good.” See Genesis 1. Flowers were created in full bloom; fruit was abundant on mature trees; nature’s wildlife was full grown. Since Creation, God works by process, purposeful and measured. Process always has beneficial and relational elements. Solomon observed, “God has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV. Paul echoed God’s principle of process this way, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 NIV. See also 1 John 3:1-2. You have to learn to trust His process. “As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways . . As for God, His way is perfect.” Read Isaiah 55:8-9/Psalm 18:30 NKJV.
Jesus described the perfect ways of the Kingdom of God by nature’s process. “A farmer planted seeds in a field . . as the days went by, the seeds sprouted and grew . . because the earth produces crops. First a leaf pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. When the grain is ready, the farmer harvests it.” Mark 4:26-29 NLT. Note Jesus description of Kingdom process: desire followed by effort, effort resting in anticipation, anticipation producing trust, trust seeing development, development increasing evidence, evidence of growth, growth bringing harvest! Where do you see yourself in God’s process today? Harvest will come in God’s time – after you work diligently, obey fully, and trust the process. Impatience and unbelief interrupts God’s process with delays.
My prayer for you today is that you live in step with God’s purposes and processes.