I went out in the backyard to catch up on a little watering this morning. The sweet peas have risen like a curtain of green and delicate pinks and purples to hide the unsightly rickety fencing that surrounds the old chicken yard…Their fragrance is everything I remembered it to be when, daring to hope, I planted those unassuming hard dry peas. First there was the eradication of crab grass entangled in the chain link—the tugging and digging out every trace of a dry root that might spring to life and foil my plans of beautification…It was hard duty on my knees, carried forward only by the vision of sweet peas climbing happily to the sun and the memory of an inimitable scent… This was an act of faith, an undertaking inspired by the yet unseen.
Would these unlikely dark balls even germinate or was the seed too old? Would the tender greens be devoured by rampant slugs or brazen deer? Was it worth the effort? This morning as I watered the thirsty roots with bucket after bucket of cool water a verse came to mind, a prayer… for you, for me, for us to pray for all to whom our prayers extend…”that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.” (II Thess.1:11)
Paul first prayed these words for the Thessalonians who were suffering persecution, needing hope that their perseverance would be rewarded. He commended their growing faith and obvious love for each other in the middle of hard times and even hinted that their persecution was itself evidence of their calling to a Kingdom not of this world. But the focus of his encouragement was the coming of Jesus to grant them relief and avenge their suffering “when he comes on that day to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed…”
(II Thess.1:10) Then he prayed this prayer of blessing on their lives: that God would fulfill the desires He had placed within them and whatever they put their hands to by faith He would likewise bring to fruition by His power. Awesome blessing!
I can pull weeds on my knees. I can plant seeds in faith. I can pray…I can believe…but it is God’s good hand that causes the seed planted in faith to sprout and grow into a beautiful vine that covers all the ugliness and effuses a heavenly fragrance…Precisely His intent– that through our faith-filled enterprises ‘the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in [us], and [we] in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (II Thess.1:12)
So don’t lose heart if your harvest is not yet in. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with an eye to what it will become with God’s blessing. He will prosper that which He inspires us to undertake, for His glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus. May the fragrance of Heaven exude from our lives by His grace.
“…but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal.6:8,9
In Christ Jesus the only thing that matters is faith working through love.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Col. 3:23,24
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” I Cor.15:58