“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
These past four weeks did not have a lack of devotional topics; there were certainly plenty, several per week even. But after I shared the last post, I can say it was game on for spiritual wrestling between God’s insight to grow me up, and the irritation/frustration/anger and tiredness towards the state of this country and world. I kept praying, reading Scripture, serving at church while following the social distancing guidelines, encouraging others when it was needed…situation normal, right? Except it wasn’t. Tiredness weighed heavy and affected me mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Updates on Breonna Taylor’s death and Rayshard Brooks, videos of protesters of all ages vs. police, other videos and screenshots of hateful, fearful people verbally assaulting people of color…articles about Elijah McClain.
Using a quote from civil rights activist and pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer, I became “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” And this was the last thing that a child of God should feel, for any extended period.
You see, Fam, the encourager (me) needed some more encouraging but was in a “tired” loop and so she did not ask for it. Why she didn’t open her mouth and ask the Lord, only He knows. But He also knew I needed today’s verse:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Or to put it like The Message translation: “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.”
“But the fatigue already set in, Ms. Writer; you just said so. So what are you doing now? What and where was the encouragement from the Lord in this verse?” (I figure y’all might be wondering.)
First, I know – as do you—that God specializes in many things, including giving us chances to get it right. Even though the tiredness was upon me and I became weary, I was reminded through an AWESOME sermon this past Sunday that I didn’t have to stay that way. I was reminded that “…that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) Because I – we – are tied up, wrapped up, tangled up in the love of God who has all power and authority and therefore victory over everything, that means we have it, too. We have victory over our minds and hearts, for which this knowledge is a great motivator to keep on keepin’ on despite what we see and hear around us.
Second, this “good” that we are doing in this world ain’t for or about us, and never has been: it’s all for God, His Kingdom, His glory. Carrying the weary weight instead of casting it upon the One whose yoke is easy and burden is light affects the caliber of what we do: it becomes “okay” instead of becoming “excellent”. It becomes a task to get through instead of a new mercy, a new joy to experience. It becomes 42 muscles to frown instead of 4 muscles to smile. Thank God that His options for the good He does are “excellent” and “more excellent”; I don’t even want to imagine what life would be like if God just did “okay”.
Third, there is the promise in today’s verse, and we all know how good the Lord is at keeping promises. Through the apostle Paul, God promises that “…at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Praying, serving, helping, encouraging, fasting, giving, loving, forgiving – all the markers of being members of God’s family and citizens of His kingdom help plant spiritual and physical seeds in this world. I’m talking about the people who come to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive salvation.
I’m talking about ministries and churches forming and/or growing to tell a dying world the Good News about a living God.
I’m talking about the various types of healing that people have been waiting on.
I’m talking about the confirmation and equipping of God’s purpose for our lives as individuals and as one body of faith.
I’m talking about the God-led response and action against injustice and hatred of any kind, anywhere.
I’m talking about blessings on blessings on blessings.
I’m talking about a much needed, recuperating rest.
I’m talking about a lot, huh?
Now I think it’s safe to say that the “at the proper time” part, we can be sorely tempted (and even succumb!) to throwing a true Veruka Salt tantrum from the original Willy Wonka movie. That little girl had some spectacular fits. And like her, we want the promised harvest now, tout suite, pronto. But God’s timing is not ours, His scheduling is not ours, and in case someone doesn’t know this: He’s an on-time God, period. So, we must adjust and focus on what we are doing today, believing that we will reap the harvest from the One who’s in charge of it, anyway.
So yeah, I grew weary but the Lord knew how to bring me out of it, and when. That bounce-back spirit within keeps me going, and just as it does all of you.
And you know what? It’s all good.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for another chance and reminder that You didn’t create us to become tired and quit in the face of so much distress. Thank You for the promise of reaping a harvest if we don’t give up. Thank You for this second wind to keep on going, being, and doing for Your Kingdom. We’ll keep going, Lord. Amen.