The Folly of Reaping without Sowing
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
It’s easy to get discouraged when you are trying to make a difference in the world. You pour your heart and soul into a project or ministry or community need, but when you don’t see any change, your spirit is dampened. “I have been serving for 5 years. I just don’t feel like I am making an impact.” Or we say, “I tried being kind, but nothing happened.” You planted a little kindness and it didn’t blossom into anything over the weekend? In your discouragement, you give up.
If you are downcast about your efforts, re-consider God’s law of sowing and reaping as a promise we can depend on, rather than simply a law we have to accept. This law has a beautiful and re-assuring aspect to it: in our actions of love and service, we always reap what we sow. That’s why Paul says in v. 9:
9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
We don’t always get to taste the good fruit from the seeds we plant. The harvest is not immediate…there’s waiting involved. Paul reminds us to not lose heart and not to grow weary. The seeds are in the ground and even if you can’t see them growing, God promises things are happening below the surface which escape our vision.
I was recently reminded of this truth by a young plumber who has been growing in his trade for about 8 years. He told me that in his time as a plumber, he has seen dozens of guys come and go. “No one lasts more than a few months. They want to start out making big bucks. But I tell them, ‘You have to stay, if you want the pay!”
Remember, we always reap LATER than we sow. The harvest requires time and it requires patience. “Due time” is God’s time.
Don't give up too soon. Keep sowing those hours of prayer for those grandbabies. Keep sowing those words of encouragement to that coworker. Keep washing the feet have your spouse. Keep planting faithfulness. Keep planting love and kindness. The seeds are growing.