Points to Ponder: Will You Keep Planting in a Field of Weeds?
Points to Ponder
Will You Keep Planting in a Field of Weeds?
A homeless man with whom we had worked a year ago, came to my door at 8am one morning. He had disappeared suddenly last year, after we had established a relationship and worked hard to help him get a job and a place. He had basically dumped it all and was gone.
I discovered he had served a brief term in prison, a sentence that had been over his head for a long time. Just the previous day he came back, ready to start over again. This time, he was ready to get things right. Did I believe him? I decided to risk it.
That next morning at 8am, as we were preparing for our daughter's walk to school, he'd come. For money? For a cup of coffee? No. He came asking for prayer. That's all. What does that request really mean at 8 am on a Monday morning? Why was it the first thing he thought to do? There was just too much at stake to not start out with God.
It seems he was asking, "Would you talk to God for me? Can we go before Him together, before I begin the day? I just want to get it right and do what He wants me to do." Oh that we who have homes, jobs, families, and a few dollars in our pockets would find it that important to start the day with God's help. Here's a man who has come with next to nothing in his possession, seeking out God's people. Why? Because he's seeking the personal touch and guidance of God Himself.
Do you do that? How vitally important is it to you to find out God's will for your day (let alone your life) and then live it out? Most of us have never been homeless, nor have most of us struggled with drug or alcohol addictions. But those of our church members who have, can fully appreciate what that experience can teach. In the past few years, I've gone outside and talked with some of our homeless neighbors. The stories they tell as to how they wound up on the street can be quite shocking. Some of the horrific scenes we see on detective shows on T.V. were real life occurrences for some of them. Of course some of them simply made a series of stupid decisions and choices, and the mess they're in is the consequence. But as you just listen, invite them to have a cup of coffee or a meal, you hear and see a real person who has a soul. And God whispers to your spirit that He really loves this person. The hardest part of my ministry is watching these folks reject that love and continue in a rebellious lifestyle. I watch helplessly, knowing it will destroy them. Imagine God's frustration when He can't get through to a soul who is choosing to die in his/her sins.
I sometimes lose patience and become jaded as I deal with some of these folks who have ruined their lives, were helped to restoration, and then ruined everything again. But then, I have to remember how patient God has been with me. Why did He allow me to disobey Him, mess up, and then after picking me up, do it again? What incredible love He has for us that He hangs in there with us - and never holds a grudge.
The Bible reminds us of the higher principle by which we must live and by which we must regard the "high maintenance" people who come for help.
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." (Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV)
Who's doing the sowing? All of us. We deal with people who have a harvest of weeds and poison ivy - the results of seeds sown through poor decisions. We on the other hand, if we are seeking to serve the Lord, are sowing to the Spirit, the Spirit who is striving to work in them as He dwells within us. It's hard work to clear the weeds and plant in the hard soil of a dry and thirsty heart. And in your sowing, you cannot know which seed will be the one that takes. So you do the hard work of faithful Spirit-led sowing. Again and again - and again.
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Galatians 6:9 NKJV)
In due season - when the time is right - we will reap. When will the time be right? You cannot know.
When the farmer plants, he can envision and expect the harvest; however, his primary concern with the field before him is sowing. The harvest is God's job.
"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase." (I Corinthians 3:6)
Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public web site, www.fumcl.org, and encourage all readers to visit for similar material.