It’s easy to get excited about planting flowers and gardens when spring bursts on the scene. Everything speaks “life!” This is the time I usually spend way too much on seeds and starter plants, dreaming of the harvest to come.
I’ve learned, however, that life seasons don’t necessarily match nature’s seasons...
It can be the dead of winter out your window, but inside your heart, it’s a season of wonderful summer growth. The leaves can be dropping off the trees in your yard, but your neighbor or co-worker’s heart has warmed up like spring and God’s calling you to plant good things in their life in anticipation of a bountiful spiritual harvest.
If we don’t grasp the season we’re in, we can end up plowing in the winter and wondering why the ground is so hard. Or planting in the summer and scratching our heads when our seed shrivels in the hot sun.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot...” Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 NIV
There is a time for everything. Sowing, reaping, living, dying. But if we lack discernment and walk out of synch with God’s Spirit, we’ll suffer disappointment. Doubt will poke at us and we can start believing the enemy's lie that our seed is not good or that God’s blessing is not on the land or your life. We can walk away from the field God has given us to work from a faulty belief that the field is bad and will never yield a harvest.
All this—when in all actuality, we’ve miscalculated the season.
Your co-worker may not be ready to receive God’s word—yet. Their heart may be cold as winter and now is the time for you to pray... until their heart warms up with springtime and they’re open and ready to receive the good seed of God’s word.
You may be overworking yourself trying to produce something in your own life, trying to make something happen—when what you’ve missed is that now is your winter season. Now is not the time to work, but a time to rest. To let the fields lay dormant so that you can be renewed.
In this “winter” time of quietness, God wants to speak to your soul, to help you regroup and recenter so that when spring comes, you are rested and ready to engage with the season.
“These are the numbers of the men armed for battle who came to David at Hebron to turn Saul’s kingdom over to him, as the Lord had said... from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do...” 1 Chronicle 12:23,32 NIV.
Of the 12 tribes of Israel, the Bible tells us that the tribe of Issachar understood the times. Instead of assuming what to do, they had Godly wisdom and discernment to know what Israel should do. In a similar way, Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, was sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit when He urged him to flee to Egypt with the young child. Now was not the time to stay in Bethlehem, but to move in obedience to God’s Spirit to escape Herod’s wrath. (Matthew 2:13-14)
If you’ve been frustrated or your efforts have seemed fruitless and nonproductive, seek God’s wisdom. Ask for His discernment to understand the seasons—to know when to plow and when to plant; when to rest and when to work. God is faithful, and as you walk in obedience to His leading, you’ll see a mighty harvest in your life and the lives of those around you.
“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:6 KJV
Photo by Aamyr on Unsplash
What’s your dream? I pray you will be inspired and encouraged to pursue all God has for you. Now, more than ever, we need people of faith to go, do and become the light for the world.