“But do not become exhausted by creating good; because if we are not overwhelmed to the point of quitting, we will gather the harvest at the appointed moment!” -Galatians 6:9
DO NOT GIVE UP! Hang in there - keep doing what is right, and the crop will be ready to harvest at the time that is best for that crop’s perfection.
As a farmer, you’d want the best possible quality of crop, right? Not too early or it will be too unripe, and not too late or it will begin rotting. It must be harvested at JUST the right moment so that its quality is unmatched and its edibility is at its peak, with the most nutrition and goodness to be had for those consuming it.
As a farmer, the crop doesn’t work on YOUR schedule, YOU work on ITS schedule! Nature dictates the calendar, not the farmer, or else the crop quality suffers. This is why fertilizing chemicals have become helpful to farmers to equalize the growth and readiness of crops regardless of wet and dry sections of crop land. This was not an option in past centuries, and the farmers suffered because of it.
Nowadays the crop can work on the farmer’s schedule, and produce markets have adapted by artificially bringing produce to ripeness through gases and other means. This is marketplace adaptation - capitalism and efficiency at its best, but what happened to the private farmer who did everything with love, and knew that it takes the time it takes to grow a clean, simple, honest crop without bureaucracy taking interest in the results?
It is a rare treasure today to find the farmer who farms just to farm, whose aim is to be the best at what he does. Back in the day, everyone knew who the best farmer in the area was because his crop was consistently the same, year after year, and his produce tasted the best no matter what anyone else did. He loved his job, and his produce was better for it by far. He knew his land intimately, and he knew his crop instinctively. He could tell when the pH was off, and he knew what to add to the soil in order to get his fruit or grain to taste its absolute best. The art of husbandry was truly an ART, not a career or monetary pursuit. It was a calling; an art that required mastery.
This is the exact same concept that our Creator is calling us to pursue as His individual and independent creatures: to chase the One who created us; fully and completely run after Him through everything we do, with everything that we possess and with all our resources, to the absolute best of our possible ability (see Deuteronomy 6:5 in the original contract and Matthew 22:37 in the updated contract).
Matthew 9:37-38 quotes the Promised One, as God in human form, “The harvest crop is huge, but the number of gatherers is small! Strike a deal with the Master Farmer to quickly mobilize harvesters to collect the ripe crop for harvest!”
This is why these blessings were provided for us, to use in this way and this way alone - specialized for use in apprenticeship under the Master Farmer! No wonder we are so overwhelmed and exhausted when we pursue anything else with these resources! Therefore, when we are chasing after our Creator, following His example, we learn firsthand how to intimately know the crop and its idiosyncrasies. We learn to love the crop and do what is best for it. We learn that the crop can often take precedence over our own needs, just as farmers who “chase streams of water” know full well with overnight duties during irrigation season.
What crop am I speaking of? As the apprentices of the Master Farmer, we are responsible for acting according to His direction and under His direct orders, acting with His approval and authority, 1) tending to soil in preparation for seed-sowing, 2) fertilizing sown soil, 3) watching for crop readiness, or 4) harvesting crops at the perfect peak (or any combination of these, at His instruction).
Our crop is the hearts of those around us; whether it be those who are seeking their Creator with arm outstretched but just can’t quite seem to touch Him yet, or those who haven’t yet taken advantage of the opportunities provided to reach out to Him, or even those who are being prepared to hear the truth about their Creator after having been lied to for years. All this and more is what we learn when we allow ourselves to become apprentice farmers under the Master.
We slowly begin to reflect Him and grow in the trust of waiting for perfect timing (that point where the true farmer can literally “feel” the right time for his crop). We learn to trust His word that “it’s not ready yet” does not mean “push it along,” and when He stills us to wait and trust Him that the growing is happening just below the surface where we cannot yet see. Suddenly the green shoot pops through the soil just when we are ready to call it a day!
It takes patience, observation, feeling, knowing, and constant learning to become a wise master at anything. If we call ourselves apprentices of the Master, can we prove it by our knowledge and the increasing skills we learn by following close and emulating what we see in the One who does it best? Do we have His approval to call ourselves his students?
It is my most fervent desire to be able answer “Yes! I am learning and growing and doing what pleases Him as I learn His trade!” We are His representatives, after all, if we drop His Name while out and about. Hopefully that means that we are accurately representing who He is and what He does. The Master isn’t called the Master for nothing. He’s the best at what He does. Can we say the same?
*The caption photo is a lemon and lime tree that I grew from seeds. It’s still alive after 6 or 7 years and every week there are new leaf buds. It amazes me how love can make things flourish. I tell those plants (there are 2, entwined) how much I love them and how beautiful they are, and they just can’t stop thriving!