The Delayed Harvest
I recently finished a book that traced the lineage of two families from Ghana. What was unique was how drastically different their lives had been after one sister was sold into slavery and the other was sold to a soldier for marriage. One chapter talked of the old man, Unlucky, who farmed each season but never reaped anything. His reputation was tarnished, his family was embarrassed, but yet he still pushed forward.
Unlucky had a conversation with his then 5 year old daughter who was disheartened that her father's crop had produced nothing but dead plants year after year. She cried for her father. Her young age didn't allow her to acknowledge that things die, despite our best efforts to keep them alive. Her father would soon begin a new crop almost as if it had become a cruel ritual the universe engaged him in. He watched over these plants, he prayed for these plants, and once again they yielded nothing but reminders of what could have had. He took this failure as chance to start fresh.
I wonder how often Unlucky questioned the God he worshipped. I wonder how tiring he must have grown from doing the same thing and being hopeful for different results. I wonder if he ever felt like giving up and trying his hand at something different. Season after season, he watched the rest of the village sprout beautiful crops but his yielded nothing. Yet season after season, he started anew as if he had never known the bitter taste of disappointment.
I want to be like Unlucky. I want to have so much faith in what God has placed in my heart that I continue to press on regardless of the ridicule, pain, sleepless nights, and doubt. Have you ever had something in the pit of your heart and you knew that it had to be God given? I can't tell you how many times I have found myself frustrated after pouring myself into different cups only to be left feeling unfulfilled. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted something to be what God wanted for me. This came in the form of ideas, relationships, friendships, and career paths. They failed each and every single time.
Unlucky knew that God had called him to farm but I'm sure he didn't think it would take seasons for it to come to pass. He remained steadfast and always took care of preparing the crop because he knew that this was his role. When God puts a gift in your heart, you have to be willing to nurture it even if you have no clue when or if it will ever come to be. Unlucky cared for his crops, he spoke life into them yet they died. He knew that it wasn't because of his own efforts but it was all due to timing. His crops would possibly grow eventually but not in this current season. He had to be faithful enough to continue on but also selfless enough to congratulate those around him who reaped bountiful harvests.
Faith is being willing to pray over something endlessly and knowing that God will have his way with it. Faith is knowing that God has the last word when it comes to your life and the direction it goes. Faith is doing the work but never knowing if you'll receive the recognition. I have never grown a plant but my crop would be my writing.
Unlike Unlucky, I have halfheartedly tended to it and expected full blossoms in return. I was being lazy and assumed because it was my gift that God would give me the seeds and make it happen. Wrong. I would write and seem surprised when nothing became of it. I wasn't moved by what I was doing and no one was better because of what I was doing. Reaping a full harvest takes work, dedication, and attention. Reaping a full harvest takes acknowledging that at times you can seemingly do all things right and your soil will yield nothing.
Recently I started pouring myself into my writing. I prayed constantly that God would give me signs that this was something I should continue with. I prayed that God would provide confirmation that my writing was life changing. The difference between Unlucky and I was our intentions with our harvest. Unlucky intended to use his harvest to feed his family and the village. I intended to use my harvest to feed my own needs and wants. It wasn't until I realized that my harvest was meant for others that I saw growth from this intangible seed.
The plants that God will allow to blossom in your life aren't always solely for your good. Sometimes he gives you the tools and seeds to feed those who didn't realize they were hungry. You have to wait on your blessing because you're confident that it is yours and will be brought to fruition. Unlucky had mastered the art of being still while still pouring into his dream. He knew that he was nothing more than a helping hand in a much larger scheme.
How long are you willing to be delayed to receive what God has promised you?