John Wesley, founder of the Methodist denomination, once wrote in his diary:
“Let none think his labor is lost because the fruit does not immediately appear.”
It’s human nature to be impatient, whether as a parent, in your job or in the ministry. We want things to mature and bear fruit quickly so that we might move on to the next task. But life as a way of accentuating this human flaw because, as most of realize, things don’t often go the way we plan and certainly doesn’t conform to our timetable. If you’re like me, life’s unwillingness to cooperate with my plan produces fits of frustration. It is in those times that I have to remind myself of some things, one of which is found in a letter written by Paul:
“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)
This is such an important Scriptural principle for us to keep in mind reflected by what we can observe in nature. For a seed to grow, all of the proper conditions must be in place. The soil temperature has to be right; the amount of moisture has to be right, and most importantly, it has to be the proper season. To enjoy the fruit of one’s labor requires that we be patient, especially for God’s timing and purpose. To that issue, James said:
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:7-8)
In the Gospels, Messiah likened Himself unto a seed that had to go into the ground and die that it might bear fruit. The Incorruptible Seed (the Messiah) was first planted at Passover, and first began to produce its fruit about 50 days later, at the Feast of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. The point is this: consider just how patient the Messiah has been. His death occurred 2,000 years ago, but the fruit is still being produced, today and will continue until all things are restored in its fulness.
How is the fruit of the Incorruptible Seed propagated? It’s through His people. When the Good Seed is sown into good ground, it germinates, begins to grow and matures in us, producing its fruit. When that occurs, others are drawn to that fruit, take of it and ingest the same Incorruptible Seed, are born again, thus propagating the process.
When we sow the Good Seed into someone’s life, the fruit doesn’t spring forth immediately – it’s a process. Therefore, we must consider that, in some cases, years may pass before we see the blade spring up out of the ground. Still, if we are faithful to do what the Creator has purposed for us to do today, we can be certain that He will create the proper conditions whereby that fruit may appear, tomorrow. In the meantime, we must continue to be faithful, walk upright before God, stand blameless before Him and not despair, thinking that our labor is in vain. We must be patient.