Patience…Why is this hard? Why is waiting such a difficult thing to endure sometimes? I have found myself asking these questions over and over again. In comparing our spiritual growth with that of deer management, I look no further than my parent’s property located just a few miles north of Greenville, Alabama. The name of this little patch of heaven is called “Paradise”. It is 208 acres of rolling hardwoods, small areas of planted pines, open valleys with two creeks running through and 10 acres in planted green fields. It has two fish ponds along with an array of wildlife. Along the east side of the property sits a cypress lodge built by the hands of my father and uncle
over a span of five years. We have had this property since 1989 when a dream became a reality for my dad. Since that time we implemented our own deer management ideas, which consisted of doe harvest records and limited bucks taken each year. During the past 23 deer seasons we have seen so many deer that I can’t even begin to count. We also kept a pretty good count of bucks seen and passed up as we waited for an opportunity to see a mature whitetail. We have harvested some nice deer over the years but we have struggled to see bucks over the age of 3½ years old. This has become very frustrating for all of us. Don’t get me wrong we all enjoy the hunts and are glad we have a place to go to enjoy God’s creation, but it sure would be nice to see some big rack bucks. I can remember season after season after season coming and going and ending with no bucks taken or maybe just one by one of us to feel better about the season. My father spends a lot of time preparing the fields, seeding, fertilizing and praying for rain which will hopefully yield a good crop for all his labor. Some years a great crop would grow and sometimes all the blood, sweat, tears and money seem to have been exhausted for nothing. The big boys are still out there somewhere!
Patience? For some of us our spiritual walks with Christ may be the same way. We feel like we spend season after season trying to do the right things and walk a path that may be good in our own eyes but we become frustrated. We think we’ve prepared our fields, seeded, fertilized and prayed yet always seem to yield such small crops with nothing big to show for it. Over the past several years I have come to realize that my efforts should not be exhausted with the anticipation of always receiving something in return. In Mark 4:26-29, Jesus tells the parable of the growing seed. “Jesus also said, The kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.” For me, I feel like my walk is just now breaking the surface from the ground I live in. I must have patience for the harvest time will come.