by Dave Kinsey
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 ESV
In Papua New Guinea the tribal people have three gardens. One which has just been planted, one which is producing, and one which has already been harvested and is fallow. Working their gardens occupies much of their time.
Should not our lives be lived much like that? Constantly doing good, sharing the gospel by word and deed. At some points we will be sowing seed, at others reaping, at others simply looking to see where God would have us serve Him next. This also means that at any given time some will be planting, others watering, and still others reaping. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “[he] planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6) Paul went on to say that one person’s work was not to be valued or honoured above another. Together we are “God’s fellow workers.” (verse 9)
The fall always brings a new season of ministry—or rather ministries. It may be that some will reap a harvest from seeds that were planted at summer camps and conferences. It may be that we will be planting seeds this year that will yield a rich harvest at camp next year. As we serve the Lord wherever He has placed us, we should remember the adage that “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6 ESV)
We should always be looking for opportunities to share the gospel. While the disciples went into town to buy food, Jesus took the opportunity to speak to the Samaritan woman at the well. When they returned with food and urged Jesus to eat something, He told them that His food was “to do the will of him who sent me and accomplish his work.” (John 4:34 ESV) He went on to say, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest?’ Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” (verse 35)
While the harvest brings joy to the sower and the reaper, the work itself is not always joyous. Children’s workers often wonder if they are making any impact on the children whom they teach. Youth leaders cry over young people who abandon the faith. Those who lead Bible studies teach adults who continue to make poor choices and weep over them. And yet these workers continue and God blesses their efforts. The Psalmist said, “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:5-6 ESV) We must not give up! The cause is too great! The stakes are too high!
That’s how I see it. How about you?