“Jesus also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”-Mark 4: 26-29
Don’t you get tired of trying to control and fix everything? Most of us feel as though we must have everything under control all the time. I think one of the reasons Jesus used so much agrarian imagery in his teaching, outside of its obvious relevance to daily life, is because in agriculture there is so little that we can actually control. Even today, in the high tech age of modern farming, with our great machines, our drought resistant crops, our pesticides, every farmer will still tell you that they live by the whims of Mother Nature. Once we have planted a seed, there is so little we can control.
But safe to say we can ruin a harvest by doing too much. We can over or under water, we can over or under fertilize, we can prune too much or too soon. We get impatient, feel we should be doing something, and can, from time to time, undo our best efforts. When Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God he talks about sowing and reaping. Those are the two things the farmer can actually control; we can choose when to plant and we can choose when to harvest. In the above parable, which I believe references God’s work, we see one important thing; a lot of waiting.
God, you see, does not rush. God does not, I believe, try to control everything. God goes about the business of being God, planting seeds and waiting patiently for the harvest to come. As for you and I, perhaps today we should try NOT controlling everything. Perhaps we should stop trying to convince everyone that we have everything under control; that we can fix any problem and handle any contingency. Perhaps today we should take the anxieties we have, the unfinished work which awaits us, the fear that rests silently in our minds, and we should simply be patient until our task becomes evident. God sows. God waits. God reaps. God knows what is going to happen. We don’t need to control everything.
Prayer: Holy God, thank you for planting the seed of faith inside of me. I ask that today that seed may continue to grow, that I may continue to serve you, and that your kingdom will come in this world. I pray that I would have the patience to serve you faithfully and the wisdom to let things go. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.