Brothers, be patient until the Lord comes again. A farmer is patient. He waits for his valuable crop to grow from the earth. He waits patiently for it to receive the first rain and the last rain. You, too, must be patient. Do not give up hope. The Lord is coming soon. James 5:7-8 (ICB)
My daughter has a rather large vegetable garden in her backyard. The youngest loves to help Mom with all the planting. Most of the vegetables in the garden are grown from young plants so she was able to see them above the ground. The beans, however, were planted from seeds. Every day she would go out to that garden and check on the progress of the plants. She could visibly see the growth on those vegetables planted from young plants. But she couldn’t see the beans. And every day she would ask her mom, “Why can’t I see the beans?” Despite repeated assurances from Mom that the beans were growing underground and we just couldn’t see them yet, she continued to ask about them.
Sometimes in our lives, things are happening “underground” that we are not aware of. While we are praying, loving, forgiving and reaching, God is working behind the scenes to make things grow in the heart of our dad or mom. He has a way of looking beyond the circumstances and beyond the outward appearances to see the hurting heart beneath. It is this hurting heart that He wants to touch and heal. It is this hurting heart that He wants to draw near to Him. It is this hurting heart for which you pray.
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3 (NLT)
A couple of minor cold snaps interfered with those beans becoming visible. My granddaughter came in each day deeply disappointed that she couldn’t see the beans. And each day her mom would tell her she just had to be patient; to wait for the water and the sun to do its job. Her frequent response to this was, “Waiting is hard!”
Yes, waiting IS hard as many of you know. It’s hard to keep praying when you don’t see any changes. It’s hard to keep loving when circumstances stay the same or even get worse. It’s hard to keep forgiving when it seems like that’s all you’ve been doing lately.
But we can’t see what God is doing behind the scenes. While you continue watering your mom or dad with your prayers and loving them unconditionally no matter what, God is working in their hearts to touch and change them. Things are happening “underground” that we have no knowledge of. God is continually reaching out to them, offering them His love, promising them forgiveness, shining His light in their darkness.
For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! Isaiah 64:4 (NLT)
One day last week, my granddaughter came barreling into the house yelling. “I see the beans! I see the beans!” She was so excited to see the visible evidence of what had been going on underground. Thanks to abundant sunshine and several nice rains, those beans began to grow like crazy until now they look like full grown plants getting ready to produce a harvest.
This is what we continue to hope and pray for. That God’s hard work “underground” will produce a harvest of reconciliation and restoration in our families. When God has everything ready, you will see what He can do to touch hearts and lives and make love grow. Yes, waiting is hard, but the harvest is worth it.
“This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska