No one could have predicted what would happen in the world in 2020. Now as we near the end of 2021, we’re still picking up the pieces of our shattered lives that involved significant loss, diminished health, racial injustice, national tumult, and sinking businesses. If you’re like me, you’ve probably thought to yourself at least once, will things ever get back to what we once knew?
Nevertheless, for more than a year, we’ve kept our faith and looked toward a future with hope and confidence that joy will come in the morning. Accordingly, we continued to sow seeds, even though they sometimes fell onto soil that may or may not have been fertile. Yet, day in and day out, we had to find the wherewithal to take care of ourselves, our family, our businesses, and other obligations. And we did all this while dealing with COVID, unemployment, death and illness of loved ones, and loss of homes, jobs, and businesses. Even our very minds struggled to comprehend what was happening to us.
All of humankind have had to navigate unprecedented circumstances and muster every inch of strength and faith for this battle. We cry out, “Victory!” For the Lord knows the plans that He has for us—not to harm us but to prosper us and give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Our Labor Isn’t In Vain
As Christians we’re taught to trust in the Lord during our times of trouble, plant seeds during days of tribulation and pain, and expect a harvest. We also know that “our labor in the Lord is not in vain” (I Corinthians 15:58b). Because of our faith in God, we believe that our seeds will yield a harvest . . . so we continue to plant. For the past eighteen months, we planted and believed that it would pay off.
Like Noah we’ve been believing God’s Word and planting seeds in preparation for what’s to come. During this lull, many of us planted seeds for our future in the form of advancing our education, building a savings, starting a business, writing a book, praying and seeking God more fervently, tithing, and sowing into others. These actions could be seen as risky especially during these uncertain times, and some people may have called us crazy—maybe not to our faces but surely behind our backs. Each of these actions were seeds sowed with the hope of a plentiful harvest. But truly what else could we do given the circumstances? If we planted nothing, we were guaranteed nothing in return; but if we planted something, there was a chance that we would get some sort of return on our investment.
Believe Before Seeing
Twenty-three million people lost their jobs in the single month of April last year, and tens of millions more lost their jobs in the months that ensued, according to the Center on Education and Workforce at Georgetown University. In another report from the Wall Street Journal we learn that 200,000 business establishments permanently closed in 2020. Whoa! Even the strongest Christians have asked, “What’s the point of trying to plant anything in this continuous calamity? It would be a waste of time and resources if we did.”
But King David, the author of Psalm 42:11, has something else to say about our circumstances; he says, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Yes! That’s what we ought to do—trust in the Lord and continue to praise Him despite what things look like and . . . Get Ready. We must put action to our faith (James 2:18), keep breathing, put one foot in front of the other, and keep our eye on the prize. We should anticipate that what we’ve planted and watered, God will make it grow. After all, it’s God who makes things grow, not us (I Corinthians 3:7).
As time passed, we waited—sometimes patiently, sometimes not so much—and we believed God that despite everything that was going on in our lives and around the world, a harvest would come. Again, it seems kind of crazy to believe even though we can’t yet see it, but this is the essence of faith—it’s “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) Similarly, as we’ve held on in faith, God has been pleased with us. Of course, we haven’t always had the answers, and we may have been fearful at times, but the Lord is faithful through every battle and every trial. He sees us through every obstacle and past every roadblock.
We believed in God’s promises and planted seeds expecting that there would be a supernatural harvest—during a pandemic, nonetheless. We understood that with God on our side, nothing is impossible; we believed that He would never leave us or forsake us; and we got ready for our harvest.
It’s Harvest Time
Now, the heavy lifting is done. We’ve planted and watered, and the waiting is almost over. It’s time to harvest the growth that God has brought from our labor. God promises to reward those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), and we believe that He will honor the work of our hands with a supernatural harvest that will surprise and shock our biggest critics—all for His glory.
I’m here to tell you, friend, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . a time to plant and a time to uproot . . . a time to tear down and a time to build” (Ecclesiastes 3:1–3). Why don’t you take a moment now to thank God? Thanking God is never out of season, but as we enter the season of Thanksgiving, it’s the perfect time to thank Him for His faithfulness and goodness to us and for the harvest He has so graciously prepared for us.
Get Ready! It’s Time to Bring in the Harvest.