Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
It is a time of great harvest in Bellvue, Colorado right now. The garden behind my house and the Pleasant Valley church building is full of yellow squash, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, okra, yellow squash, green beans, pumpkins, and tomatoes. But especially yellow squash. Every morning we walk out to the garden and pick from the bounty, and by the time we return to the garden in the afternoon there is even more to pick. We make stir fry and salad and zucchini bread and squash casserole and more squash casserole. We share with the church and friends in the community. And what’s left gets placed on the picnic table at the church building with a sign practically begging passers-by to help themselves. The garden is a fun and practical way to build up our community, and to bless ourselves and others with the fruit of the earth.
As we collect basket after basket of garden goods, we’re thankful. When we taste the first fried okra of the summer, or pull the first loaf of chocolate chip zucchini bread out of the oven, we barely remember the work that went into it. When the community garden share coordinator is amazed at the amount of yellow squash we bring in, we’re proud.
However, when I think back to the plowing and the digging and the watering and the weeding, I realize the great effort that went into the garden. When we feel the need to pray that it will rain enough to relieve our watering duties for a day or two, the garden can seem like a great burden. When we’re sweating in full sun with dirt under our finger nails and sore backs but can STILL see endless weeds, we start to wonder why we bother. The challenge is to not grow weary, but to think of the great harvest later in the year. The challenge is to remember all the people who will be blessed by the bounty that will result from the hard work of planting and caring for a garden.
Spiritually, we become weary. Day in and day out we work. We teach and preach and study, praying that someone will hear and believe and act on their faith. We toil in God’s Kingdom and we are often met with trials, suffering, and heart ache. We watch people fall away, often for trivial reasons. We listen as the world, and sometimes those who call themselves Christians, mock the Church- Christ’s own bride. Sometimes it would be easy to give up. At one time or another, I’m sure that each Christian has asked themselves, “Why?” Why bother with the hard labor of daily bearing a cross? Why even try to live differently from the world, when it attacks our lifestyle at every angle? Why teach people who laugh, ignore, or walk away? Why bother challenging wrong doctrine when it seems never ending? Sometimes we can look up from our work and see that there is so much more to do, as we can look up from our weeding in a garden and see that there are so many more weeds to pull.
While a garden can fail, we still put much work into it and have faith that it will supply us with much fruit to enjoy and share. The good news for us as Christians is that if we continue with the work of God, we cannot fail. As Jesus was being beaten and mocked and spat on and hated, He could have given up. But He didn’t. Why? Because Jesus knew the end result. He knew that through his anguish, a great harvest would be collected. He knew that through His pain He would enable people to return to their God. He knew that through His suffering, the church would begin.
Galatians 6:7-8a Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption.
Whether we are sowing fleshly things or spiritual things, we are sowing something. With sowing comes work and with work comes weariness. When we’re in the midst of hard spiritual labor, it may seem easier to just give it up. But when we do, we automatically begin fleshly labor which may seem easy for a time, but ends in a weariness full of corruption.
The hopeful end result of sowing a garden is a plentiful harvest of vegetables to share with friends and to enjoy as a family. As Christians, we KNOW the end result of our work:
Gal 6:8b But the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Eternal life through the Spirit is our goal and the result of our sowing here upon this earth. Do not grow weary of doing good. Know that the harvest is plentiful and the end result is eternity with your God.
By Miranda Trujillo
Miranda Trujillo is a 21-year old homeschool graduate and preacher’s kid. She attends Pleasant Valley church of Christ– the church building was her playground growing up. She loves gardening, mixing up herbal potions, feeding middle schoolers (as a lunch lady), blogging and enjoying her family life in the beautiful Pleasant Valley– Bellvue, Colorado.