By Rick Warren
The Bible tells us that there are seasons in life. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (NIV).
Between the then and the now or the now and the what’s coming next, there is always a delay. This is irritating for most people, to make a deposit or an investment or a plan and not have it instantly come to fruition.
Fruit ripens slowly. Would you rather eat a vine-ripened tomato or one that has been picked green and then gassed to turn it red? There’s no comparison between a vine-ripened tomato, which was allowed to grow slowly, and a tomato that was picked prematurely. If you pick too soon, you miss the flavor.
In money management, you always reap in a different season than you sow. And by the way, not all fruit ripens at the same time. When you have a peach tree, they’re not all ripe at once. They come in little by little; you pick a few a day. When you start planting and following God’s money management principles, you’re not going to get a windfall tomorrow. It’s going to come in over time. You’re going to have to wait to reap in a different season.
But while you’re waiting, God is working. When you’re waiting for the fulfillment of the efforts or money or energy that you’ve put into something, you may think nothing’s happening.
Oh, it’s happening! While that seed is hidden in the ground, it is slowly germinating. And when that seed bursts with God’s blessing on it, it will continue growing and growing. One day a little shoot will stick up out of the ground, and then you will see that it’s working.
But until then, you need to trust that God is working — even when you can’t see the fruit of your labor.
Plants take time to grow. There’s no such thing as instant maturity. No farmer goes out, plants the seed in the ground, comes back an hour later, digs it up, and expects it to have grown. You’ve just got to let it be. Leave it covered, and let God grow it in his time.
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (NLT).
Talk It Over
- What have you been waiting on God to bring to fruition in your life?
- How have you grown spiritually as a result of having to wait for that harvest? What has God taught you as you’ve been waiting on him?
- Why do you think God makes us wait to reap what we sow?