Our kids planted flower seeds not too long ago. They have carefully been watering them and waiting to see signs of life. A few days ago, our youngest was the only one who still didn’t have any sprouts in her flower pot and she was very distraught. She had been taking such good care of her seeds and didn’t see the results she saw others getting. I assured her they would come. Different seeds sprout at different times and sometimes even the same type of seeds given the same care will sprout at different times. But they will sprout! We can’t give up on them because we don’t see what everyone else has yet – what we know they were made for. We can’t see the changes happening beneath the
surface but we can be confident that when good seeds are planted and watered they will produce after their own kind. A couple days later, I was taking a prayer walk, asking God about some things, and our daughter came running up to me, ecstatic about her not one, but TWO sprouts that popped up seemingly all of the sudden. I instantly felt a quickening in my heart and rejoiced with her over those two green sprigs. I knew God had answered and in my heart said, “YES! That is awesome!!! Wait… What does it mean? Can you explain that? What is the significance of these little green sprigs?”
I remembered Mark 4 and the story of the seeds sown in different types of soil (ie, hearts). And then I remembered two quotes I’d recently heard and something I wrote a while ago about waiting for harvest and it all came together in a kind of tidal wave of encouragement that I’ve been riding for a while. Have you ever noticed how many parallels there are in nature to Scripture? It’s amazing! I guess it makes perfect sense that creation points back to Creator. I just think it is so freaking cool.
If the human heart is soil, we are the gardeners. We are responsible for the state of our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 tell us to guard our heart, because it is a wellspring of life. The word “guard” there means to tend, like one would tend a garden. This would include preparing the soil to receive, watering the seed once it’s been planted, and being on the lookout for weeds and removing them from the soil immediately to protect our seeds (this sounds a lot like removing attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts that steal peace or propagate lies). When the soil is ready (when the heart is ready to receive), you plant that tiny seed, watering it, waiting, watering, waiting, weeding, and expecting to see life come out of it.
This is how it is with every promise God has given us. The Word of God is a seed and when it is planted in our heart, it has a chance to grow into something that brings life. Meditating on the Word of God is watering the seed. You can’t plant something once and leave it alone and expect it to live. It has to be watered! And you have to watch out for weeds of distraction – things that try to take your focus off the promise, things that try to make you doubt, and things that parade as the answer you so desperately need but leave the real Answer (a heavenly Father who loves you) out of it. Weeds will choke the life out of a seed and hinder any growth. And then there is just doubt – will my seed sprout like I see other seeds sprout? Will it work this way for me, too?
In addition to different types of soil, different seeds have different gestation periods – a radish might take 40 days to produce a sprout and a watermelon may take 4 times that long, but both produce fruit. Some visible answers come quickly; some come over time with faith and patience.
Contrary to what I believed growing up, God’s promises don’t just automatically come to pass. If they did, what is faith for? It takes no faith to say, “whatever happens is God’s will.” Especially when He spent so much time telling us His will and instructing us in how to stand in it. It takes faith to stand against the enemy when he comes in with things that are contrary to what God has said. It takes faith to believe the Spirit of the Living God in me is stronger than whatever comes against me. It takes faith to believe in what we cannot see when what we can see is screaming for all it’s worth that God’s Word isn’t true. There are things we have to stand in and fight for, knowing that when we agree with God’s Word, all of heaven backs us up and all of hell trembles. It takes faith to sow seeds and believe for a harvest.
Andrew Wommack says,
“It is the height of arrogance to believe that only what you can see is all there is… if you think you can perceive all that is going on around you in the spirit realm, you’re thinking too highly of yourself.”
There is so much taking place that we can’t see. A farmer doesn’t dig up seed to see if it has sprouted yet – that is a quick way to kill what was planted! Too many times I have dug up my seed to see if I can see anything happening and killed the seed. Thank God for grace and the chance to plant again, this time believing that what He says is what is true. We don’t have to dig up our faith to see if its working – our faith shouldn’t be in our faith anyway but in the faithfulness of God.
And you know what? Waiting time isn’t wasted time when you use it to practice standing in what God has promised.
“Every prayer of faith, every step of obedience, every confession exalting the truth above the facts, is another swing of the Sword of the Spirit that will eventually cut you completely free from that sickness and disease and your suddenly will come.” Greg Mohr, Your Healing Door
Greg is talking about healing but this is true for any provision that God has made and every promise He has given. Every thought of fear or doubt that you replace with truth, every time you stand firm in what God has said, your roots are growing deeper and stronger. Before you ever see the fruit, the roots are being established and it is the establishment of the roots that will give life to a strong, healthy plant. Change is happening beneath the surface!
Leave your faith planted in the Word of God. And rejoice – your harvest is coming!
UPDATE: The rains came and the storm tested and strengthened those little sprouts and now they are full and green! They have surpassed all the other sprouts in our potted garden (much to our daughter’s delight).