Farming Out Patience (Farm Implements part 1)

"And He said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." (Mark 4:26-28)

Patience. Waiting upon God for what you know you want from Him. Where do we go from there? There are no dead ends in service to Him. When God speaks a word to you, it may well provide the illumination needed to see your struggle and your corner of the "kingdom of God" bloom. Modern agricultural science and engineering might know more of how things in the soil "spring and grow up" than was known during Jesus' day, but they certainly don't have all the answers. And don't even mention the fact that so much of our non-organic food is being genetically modified. It's ridiculous. All that aside, referring to Jesus and the Kingdom of God, it's almost comforting to admit that we don't know how His kingdom blooms in our lives. The key to enjoying the process—because that's what He's referring to here, a process—is patience. And what better way to be patient than to share our frustrations with the one who's in charge of the whole process?

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." (Hebrews 10:35-36, emphasis mine)

Patience is known as one of the "fruits of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23), meaning it's something that grows in us as we live in the light of the Holy Spirit. This is good to know, because there are low times in our lives where the last thing we are able to muster is patience. Notice what goes without saying here: we know something good is coming.

"But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (Romans 8:25) Fair enough.

As I grew out of "childhood" age, my dad would periodically remind me how I used to lack any temporal understanding. At a certain age, I had no inner means of distinguishing between tomorrow, next week, next year. Beautiful part about my then childlike mind is that I was forever in the now. It wasn't something I had to muster up and focus on and desire and sweat and pray. No, I just did. I lived in the now. I got hungry, I ate. I was tired, I slept. I wanted to play, I did. No wonder Jesus tells us we must become as a little child. The only time I knew something special was coming up, was when someone more knowledgable than I, informed me. "Josh, your birthday's in a week! Are you excited?" Sure I was. But up till then, I had no idea. I was what, four? Too young to be concerned with such things. I was probably more into my Transformers than I was into far-off promises of birthday presents, cake and a party. In other words, I was content.

"Be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5b)

The point I'm getting at here is that I didn't know something good was coming unless I was told. And I had no frame of reference for when, even after I was told. I just knew that something fun (my birthday) was upcoming. All I had to do is be patient. Though, at four years of age, it wasn't so much patience as it was childish forgetfulness, that prevented me from going crazy with worry and wonder, confused as to why the blessing hadn't arrived. Looking back, it's funny how, as a child, an intense day of crazy excitement would wear me out to the point of exhaustion. To where I'd need a nap and forget all about how much fun I was having. Oh the joys of youth!

So think about it. Do you know you're destined for great things in the Kingdom of God? How do you know? Did God tell you? Or are you just fed up with your lot? Either way, gratitude is the order of the day. And as you pray about your current situation as well as your overall destiny, God will give you answers as well as peace. Here's Jesus again, this time referring to the Holy Spirit:

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself (in other words, the things He tells you won't originate from within Him alone, it's God and Jesus speaking through Him); but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (John 16:13)