Recently while spending time in private devotion with God’s word, my attention was drawn to a passage that has always been one of my favorites, but for some reason at this time it took on a new and fresh meaning for me. The passage is from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the believers at Galatia and is found in Galatians 6:7-9 which reads:
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
I’m sure that some of you are thinking that this is one of my favorite passages because of the gardening analogy that Paul uses here, and you know how much joy I get out of planting things, especially flowers. Honestly, there might be some truth to that, but I believe the main reason I’ve always been drawn to this passage is because it’s so practical and it just makes good old sense.
The message that Paul is sharing is presented in the form of the universal principle that whatever we take the time to plant, whether it be an actual seed in the soil of the ground or a metaphorical seed that we plant in the soil of our lives based on the choices we make, will begin to take root and eventually make its way to the surface. Not only is this principle universal in nature, it is also a surety. It will come to pass! The only thing about this passage that has even a hint of uncertainty is whether the one that has planted the “good” seed will have the patience and endurance to trust the process and not abandon ship.
And there is probably no other area in our lives as Christians where this is more prevalent than when it comes to the discipline of prayer. Think about it for a moment. The challenge that many of us have when it comes to prayer is not that we aren’t willing to pray, but it’s in being patient enough to allow the seeds that we have sown in the garden of prayer time to take root and begin to make its way to the surface. Could it be because we live in a culture that expects immediate results regardless of the laws that govern the process? When I plant flowers in my garden I may want them to reach full maturity overnight, but I know in my heart that’s not how the process works. So when it comes to the seeds of prayer that we plant in the soil of God’s sovereign will, why should I expect anything different?
So, the challenge that we have as Christians is not whether the process works, but it’s to do with whether we have enough endurance to see it through and not become discouraged by what may appear to be inactivity on the part of God. As anyone who has planted anything knows, the activity of the germination process always starts below the surface completely out of sight, even to the sower.