Almost a month has slipped by here, with me wordlessly ruminating on things past and what is ahead, and how we all are growing. It is remarkable how quickly great change can come to our hearts, when we are truly ready to listen and hungry for something more. Who knows what the tipping point will be? When do the walls become doors and everything suddenly make sense? How do we open the windows and allow the winds of change to blow through our lives? And it reminds me of the story Jesus told: “…other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!…Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” (Mark 4:8-9) Maybe only the Farmer knows when the soil is fertile, and when ears are ready to understand His Truth– just how much digging up and plowing-through it takes, to make something grow. His patience is endless.
And too, perhaps all the years of labor pains and wrestling on another’s behalf are not as unproductive as they appear sometimes. Perhaps the Holy Wind has been stirring within, preparing the soil to yield abundance, after all. Who are we to judge what is in another person’s heart, or when the harvest should come, or even what He is accomplishing in our own hearts during the long waiting?
So here we are already mid-Fall, at the start of new small groups and new books, and we come with ever-new hearts around the table to learn together. We are not the same as we were even a year ago: older certainly, but there’s a hunger in the room…a warmth of connected-ness between us women whose hearts are open and whose ears are listening. We are excited for new growth. Someone pointed out the other night that the overarching Plan is God’s, but we get to choose how we respond– what our lives will produce– and people are watching and responding themselves. It makes me think again of soil plowed up and receptive to the seeds He is planting, and how mysterious are the methods of the Holy Breath of God. There is the small stir of a seed’s awakening, and there is the slow steady growth of a well-cultivated soul, and there is the sudden abundance of harvest, but it is all the Farmer’s work “…to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us.” (Ephesians 1:6)
Dear Father, help us to keep saying yes to You in every little thing; to keep the eyes of our souls turned toward you; and our ears open for Your voice, however it may come. May we be patient with what You are growing in us, and persevere in praying for those we love; may Your grace and lovingkindness bring the harvest.
“He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; there he brought the hungry to live….” (Psalm 107:35-36)
“Trust Him now for everything, and see if He does not do for you exceeding abundantly above all that you could ever have asked or thought, not according to your power or capacity, but according to His own mighty power, that will work in you all the good pleasure of His most blessed will. You find no difficulty in trusting the Lord with the management of the universe and all the outward creation, and can your case be any more complex or difficult than these, that you need to be anxious or troubled about His management of it?” (Hannah Whitall Smith)