From time to time, God places a particular verse or passage of Scripture on my heart that He wants me to share. For the past couple of days, I’ve had Galatians 6:9 on my mind:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
I knew a girl in our singles group several years ago who worked with our Inner City ministry. She said that this verse greatly encouraged her in times when she felt like she was making no progress with the children she’d been ministering to for months. In those weeks where it felt like she was getting nowhere, she needed this reminder to “keep on keeping on” when she was sorely tempted to throw in the towel.
Here are a few thoughts I’ve had this week regarding this particular verse:
“Let us not become weary in doing good”: This week I was struck by the phrase “Let US” (emphasis mine)–I believe that it implies that Paul, too, was in danger of growing weary of doing the right thing. I suppose I’ve always considered the apostle Paul to be somewhat of an uber-Christian, unflinching in his Christian walk.
But the guy was human, and, like us, I’m sure that he experienced times of being sick and tired of not seeing fruit from his labors. After being stoned, left for dead, chased out of a city, shipwrecked, and imprisoned on multiple occasions (not to mention having to deal with various church feuds of one kind or another), I’m sure that he was tempted to give up at least once, perhaps multiple times. So it was good for me to realize that even “Super Christians” like Paul grow weary in their walk at times.
“for at the proper time”: Timing, I’ve discovered, is key with God’s work. I’ll be the first to admit that I have struggled with patience (or a lack thereof), and I’ve had to learn that waiting on the proper time–i.e., God’s time–brings about the best results.
We are such an instant-results oriented society. Sometimes even the microwave doesn’t cook our food fast enough. I think it’s become habit to immediately expect results from our good works or our prayers. Sometimes God DOES provide results or answers right away, but I think those are exceptions rather than the rule. There may be some results that we have to wait months or years before we can see them. And in some cases, we won’t see the results until we’re in Heaven.
“we will reap a harvest”: One thing to keep in mind is that although we WILL reap a harvest, it may not be the harvest we expect. Sometimes the broken relationship we’re praying about IS healed; sometimes the wayward child DOES return home; sometimes we DO get the raise and promotion at work.
But sometimes those things don’t happen. We don’t receive the harvest we are hoping for. The good news is that the harvest that God gives is inevitably far greater that what we could hope for. However, it may take months or years (or entering into Heaven) before we are able to understand that.
“if we do not give up”: Here is the condition of God’s promised harvest–we must not give up. Perseverance is one of the great virtues of our faith, lauded by Paul throughout his epistles. While we wait for the proper time for our harvest to come to fruition, we must continue to labor with the expectation of that harvest coming.
Perhaps you are experiencing a weariness in doing good right now. Maybe it’s that relationship that you’re ready to give up on. Or that boss who never seems to give you the recognition you feel you deserve. Or the people you minister to who, instead of being grateful for your ministry to them, only voice complaints. I hope that this reminds you that our good works do not go unseen. There IS a harvest to come. Let us perservere in doing good, and trust God to provide the fruit in His time.