Work Your Fields2
The official Merriam-Webster definition of abide is:
1. To wait for
2. -a. To endure without yielding
-b. To bear patiently
3. To accept without objection
1. To remain stable or fixed in a state
2. To continue in a place
I’m not going to lie to you. I looked that up really hoping it would say “Do awesome things right now. Don’t wait. Just be awesome.”
I don’t really like following instructions. I don’t like waiting. And sometimes I don’t really like abiding. I get bored and then I start looking for something more productive to be doing…as if abiding in Jesus isn’t enough.
I posted the above picture this afternoon. I had come home and my dad had all the fields surrounding my home disked up. The dirt had been disrupted to make way for new life. I feel like that sometimes.
Do you remember before the Israelites could enter the promised land what they had to do? They had been walking for 40 years (it should have taken 11 days) and they were right on the edge. And God told them to circumcise the men. And God also told them that the manna they had been daily receiving would no longer show up every morning. There had to be a cutting away of the old in order to come into what was new and different. And with the manna, God said, I’m no longer going to do it the way I have always provided for you. We’re going to do this new thing. Now, let’s go.
Cutting away the old to make room for the new, or pruning to put another word to it, is painful. It’s a long and tedious process. And if you’re working your way through some pruning seasons, odds are you’re crying more now than ever because of the pain and because of the things you may be having to cut out. It is a painful process. But the fruit at the end is peace. It’s goodness. And it’s a gift to you.
And sometimes your whole life has been running around and doing things just because they needed to be done and because you had the skills. Then sometimes God says, Hey, we’re going to do a new thing here, honey. I’m still going to provide for you, but it’s going to look different now. I hope you’re ready for that.
But the farmer, every step he takes throughout the whole year is work towards the harvest. Whether it is plowing the fields or putting oil in the tractor. Whether it is planting the seeds or pulling the weeds. Every step is a step towards the harvest. And no step is more important than another. Every part of the process leads to the bounty.
And it is good. It may be bittersweet, but it is still good.