God will not always allow you to see visible fruit from your visible labors. Sometimes you are doing everything properly, at the right time, with an excellent motivation but no visible results are manifested – such is the work of the Kingdom. Yet, there are other seasons which I find even more peculiar. These occur when you are seemingly exerting no visible labors and our King chooses to bring forth an abundance of visible fruit. God sometimes blesses disproportionately and blatantly ignores our presumption that He always (only?) blesses according to our effort. Recently I have been humbled and encouraged by experiencing elements of an unforeseen harvest. The field was not ready. The seed was unproven in the area where I serve. I would have to begin the planting all alone. Yet, God has chosen to appoint something and then anoint something I could not have anticipated. Years ago I might have felt uncomfortable about harvesting in a place and season wherein I was not overly confident about how I was working the field. Those days are long gone, and now I welcome the opportunity to realize again how kind the Lord is to us. He enjoys loading us with His benefits.
It will likely remain a mystery to us concerning why God chooses to receive our sometimes tireless efforts and leave us no results to be seen. I have had many days, months and years wherein the fruit was slow to arrive. We know that He desires us to depend on Him and not to become fruit-addicts, so it would make sense that He might leave with us a call to endure, to remain steadfast and to continue where we have been planted by Him, even when there are seemingly no results. Yet how humbling it is when we feel we have not even brought the seed out of the barn and yet have beheld with our eyes a bumper crop produced with little to no labor from us. We occasionally reap sometimes where we have not sown, and this is also a proving ground for the people of God. Will we humbly receive produce for which we did not sweat? Can we leave the entire process to bask in the light of God’s glory? So often we feel as if we have done something wrong if we did not contribute much to a fruitful endeavor – we have been groomed to see ourselves as partners with God, and we are tempted to cringe as He wholly blesses us when we did not even discern there had been an opportunity. God is not looking at us as His partners. He is looking at His children and sometimes He will determine to bless you in ways that are not proportional to your labor. My advice would be for you to receive it as it is: a gift from a gracious and generous Father who has always delighted in giving us more than we merit.
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” – Psalm 90:17
Yes, Father, please do this. Even when our hands were not called to contribute to the unforeseen harvest.
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