I hate waiting!
There have been many times in my life that I have made choices - probably not the wisest of choices - based on the simple fact of how long I'd have to wait. I've chosen doctors in the past based on how much time I spent in their waiting room. I've made decisions on auto repairs based on how quick they could get my car back to me. I know I'm not the only one that makes restaurant choices based their waiting-list time.
The truth is, I hate to wait on ANYTHING! Even...God.
We spend countless hours of our walk with God stuck on the simple question of "Why?"
That question is typically found running around with one of its first cousins, "When?"
During this season of life that I'm in today, one of the things that God has continued to teach me is the difference between living with HEART knowledge vs. HEAD knowledge. Simply put, heart knowledge is all about walking in faith with that dreaded word - patience.
Growing up in South Texas, my dad loved to garden. Each year, my dad would plant a garden that was bigger than the year before. He'd cultivate the ground, he'd rake the rocks out, he'd pull the weeds while preparing to sow his seeds. I remember as a kid running out of the house each morning to see if any sprouts had broken through the ground. And for weeks, the result was the same - nothing.
What I didn't realize was that there was a process of pressure, heat and moisture (watering) that had to occur for that seed to ultimately break out of the hull that was holding the good stuff inside. Over the hours, days and weeks, I would watch my dad water his garden and all the while the temperature in the ground would create enough heat - and the dirt that was covering that tiny seed would create enough pressure - eventually the process of growth would start. The seed would bust open, tiny roots would begin to form UNDER the dirt giving that plant the foundation it needed to stand firm once it broke through and began to grow ABOVE the dirt for all to see.
While all this was going on, my dad had faith. He knew, that he knew, that he knew that a harvest was right around the corner. His knowledge of an eventual crop arriving came from a faith (heart knowledge) that he knew when he put in the time to work his garden, that God would do his part and bring the harvest.
I've come to realize that God works much the same way in our lives. Our heavenly Father loves us so much that He wants us to get better, to grow and become stronger in our walk than we could ever imagine. Our Father has so much in store for us as vessels and tools to further His Kingdom, but he knows that the battle will be hard and the road will be tough. Therefore, in preparing us He has to fashion us with times of intense heat and pressure - just like that tiny seed. And just like my dad, it is our job to do some work to ensure a harvest. We need to water the ground, clean out the rocks and pull the weeds.
Our job is to seek His face each day by spending time in His word; spending time in His presence; talking to Him and listening for His will in our lives. These are the things we do each day to ensure those rocks and weeds are being removed. These are the things we do to ensure there is enough moisture in the ground to help the seeds He's sowing in us begin to sprout and grow roots beneath the surface.
It never failed that each spring, summer and fall, we had a bumper crop of wonderful vegetables to eat. We had some of the biggest ears of corn; some of the juiciest watermelons; yellow squash that was more golden than the sun; enough green beans to feed an army! And each season, my dad was giving away many of the fruits of his labor. To say my dad's harvest was enough each season would be a significant understatement. But my dad was patient; my dad tended to his garden; my dad had faith that if he did his job, God would show up!
We are all at different stages in our walk. Some are reaping a great harvest today because of the faith they've put into their gardens. Some of us are still working our gardens and rather than having envy or question why your neighbor is receiving a bountiful harvest, use that as another building block of faith (heart knowledge) that God will show up in your garden to provide a bountiful harvest at just the right time! In His time!
In Habakkuk 2:3, God tells us that His time does not move quickly - "these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely...If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things wills surely come to pass. Just be patient. They will not be overdue a single day!"
God is telling me - and you - keep tending to your garden. Keep spending time raking the rocks, pulling the weeds and watering the seeds He's sowing. Your harvest is coming.