The picture below is the view I get from the back porch of the fire station I work out of. When we aren’t running calls, training, or doing other things I get a chance to catch my breath out here. Not a bad way to spend a little time before the tones go off again.
The water is catching my attention on this particular day. It’s calm, the surface semi glass irritated by a steady breeze hardly strong enough to rustle a few leaves on the trees standing guard around the water’s edge.
There’s a flurry of activity under the murky surface with fish dodging turtles I often see poking their heads out to investigate whatever it is they investigate. The weather maybe. Or if there are any hawks in the area waiting to pluck them out and feed them to their kids squawking somewhere nearby.
Speaking of hawks, one just flew right by the porched being chased by one of those blue birds. Not an actual Blue Bird but a bird that is blue. Not sure what it’s called but that hawk didn’t want any part of it.
The point is that in the midst of the hustle and bustle the water remains at rest. I think I feel like that most of the time. The more I grow in my relationship with the Lord the more I’m able to remember who I really am and stay in a place of peace no matter what’s going on around me or coming against me.
And then there are those other times. The times I feel like the hawk being tormented by the little bird with the big mouth, the times I feel like a whirlpool opens up right in the middle of my pond.
I’ve been feeling the effects of that whirlpool lately, the claws of discouragement clamped around my ankles threatening to pull me under. Many others have too. I know that our adversary is always working on us individually but I think there are times in which an all-out assault is launched against many different people at the same time. I think we are on the back side of one of those times right now.
Goals, dreams, relationships, finances, and more are under attack and not necessarily by way of destruction but in how we think about them, in how we hope for them. That’s what discouragement does – gets us to sit down and give up on the passions and desires of our hearts. That’s what it’s been trying extra hard to get me to do.
But then I came across a passage out Galatians chapter 6. Paul begins to discuss the principle of sowing and reaping and there are two promises in verse 8 and 9 that really grabbed my heart. In verse 8 Paul tells us that those who sow into the Spirit will reap eternal life. We know from the words of Jesus that eternal life is knowing the Father. Those who sow into the Spirit will reap knowledge of the Father. They will reap intimacy and revelation.
Paul goes on to say in verse 9 that we should not get tired and stop doing the good and noble things we have been called to do because in due time, AND in the proper season, we will reap. We will reap if we stay courageous and don’t give up.
God will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly. He is good and he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. These, along with the promise from Galatians 6:9, are things we must choose to believe in the times that we can’t see any evidence that the desires of our hearts are coming to pass.
It’s not all for nothing. It’s not all been a pointless endeavor. I just sense that many of you need to hear that today. The good and noble things you’ve been doing are making a difference and God is working with you to advance your dreams and goals. The blog posts, books, songs, prayers, hugs, encouraging words, work days…whatever the good and noble things are for you…it’s never been time wasted. Your actions, the things God has led you to establish and do are making a difference in the world around you and even in you. They have reached much further than you might ever know.
So don’t listen to the voice of discouragement trying to jack up your pond. Don’t lose heart and give up because your day of reaping is coming. Keep doing the good and noble things God has given you to do. He hasn’t forgotten about you or your dreams. He loves you way too much for that.
Jesse and Kara