Farmers know it takes time for their produce to ripen. For example, they understand mushrooms reach maturity in a matter of days, sunflowers require weeks and pecan trees take years. They may wish to grow things faster, but none the less realize it takes time and conditioning to yield bountiful harvests. If this is true for farmers, how much more does our Creator know the time and conditioning required to ripen our faith and produce the various “fruits” He desires for us?
Naturally, it can be tempting to grow impatient with others and ourselves at times, believing they and we should know and do better. However, this impatience may also be an indicator that we’re seeking to rush the “ripening” process God is working into our lives and the lives of others. Thus, when we’re tempted to rush to judgement, or discouragement, it’s helpful to remember that it takes time to mature, especially in three key areas of our development:
Humility: C.S. Lewis said, “true humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less” – an attribute difficult to acquire apart from Christ. For He exemplified humility as He stepped down from heaven in love to willingly lay down His life for us. May we be so bold and humble to willingly surrender our lives to Him in return (Mark 8:35).
Honor: What makes one honorable? Many words can be used to describe a person of honor, but nothing illustrates it more than what we allow ourselves to do and ponder when no one else is looking, or aware. Again, without Jesus working in and through us will-power can never be adequate enough to meet such a challenge (Hebrews 13:18).
Honesty: Children have to be taught to tell the truth, but seem to be born knowing how to lie. Whether it’s a white lie, exaggeration, or major deception, consistent honesty is hard to come by. Even harder to find is sincere honesty wrapped in love. Jesus was always honest, loving and sincere – and leaves no doubt that this same level of maturity can only be ripened in us by Him (Proverbs 4:23).
Application: “Time To Harvest” – Galatians 6:9
Is there anyone we have grown impatient with to the point of judgement and/or discouragement – is it with ourselves? As the Master farmer, Jesus knows precisely what is required and how long it takes to produce and ripen the spiritual fruits He desires for each of us. It doesn’t happen automatically and we have a part to play, but if we do not grow weary in hope and permit ourselves to be long suffering with life’s shortcomings, Christ will produce in His children, and for His glory, a bountiful harvest to be shared with all.
by Dagan Sharpe @ CareerCall.wordpress.com