Farming, as much as any profession, is ruled by the calendar. Each season requires something different. Plant in the spring. Grow in the summer. Harvest in the fall. Rest in the winter.
As a farmer, you must learn to embrace each season. You can prefer one over the other, but you can’t choose to operate in two seasons and ignore the other two.
Harvesting must be gratifying. It’s nice to have some money in the bank and not be worried about your crop. Harvesting is a lot of hard work, but it’s also the payoff. But you can’t harvest anything if you fail to grow your crop in the summer, and you can’t rest in the winter if you don’t have a nice harvest in the fall. Every season is important.
Consider that pattern—plant, grow, harvest, and rest—in every area of life.
In part, it’s a beautiful overarching picture of life itself.
From birth through childhood, we are being planted.
From our teenage years into young adulthood, we are growing.
During adulthood, we are harvesting.
In the last years of our lives, we get to rest.
Great trouble comes if we ignore one of those seasons or live as though we are in a different season. If I started acting like I was retired when I was in my early 40s, life wouldn’t go well. If you don’t embrace your years of being planted, you might struggle to grow as you get older.
Patience means accepting the season of life you are in and living that season well.
And that pattern—plant, grow, harvest, and rest—repeats in your profession, marriage, parenting, and every other area of life.
I can see the pattern in the life of our church. There are seasons of great harvest where it is evident that God is moving in a meaningful way within the lives of others. But there are other times when we are just planting seeds, waiting to see what might come from them.
I can see the pattern in writing. A book comes out, and I don’t write much for a while, but eventually I start typing out some ideas and just seeing which ones land and begin to grow. Then I begin to develop those ideas, and, before long, a book is born.
We can see the pattern in marriage. There are seasons of great harvest in marriage in which we are reaping the rewards of good choices and wise practices. There are other times when a season can feel like a lot of work, but we are growing habits or behaviors that will pay off later.
We should look to the farmer and be reminded about the seasons in our lives. How would an impatient farmer fail? Trying to plant seeds when he is supposed to be resting? Trying to harvest crops when they are not ready yet?
Our impatience often expresses itself as we attempt to ignore the season we are in. What season are you in?
JAMES 5.7-12 (NIV)
7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
1. What is the hope about God?
2. How is that hope for you?
3. How can you share hope with others today?