Gradually and Relentlessly
"Just as seeds silently grow in the soil, GOD gradually and relentlessly prepares people to be transformed by His Grace." –note from New Living Translation Bible, Mark 4:26-29 Have you driven through farmland, when the ground is tilled, but no plants have broken through the rows of dirt? Though nothing is seen above ground, I’m certain when a farmer scatters seed, his crop is coming. The farmer is certain. His banker is certain. His wife is certain…purchasing what their family needs and paying bills, depending on the crop to come.
With all the financial pressure of a farm riding on a crop, there is a 10-day to 2-week period where a sown field doesn’t look much different than the day it was plowed. Yet, seeds are in the ground and after only a few days, they have spouted. The crop is on its way, gradually and relentlessly.
Gradually. We live in a generation with little concept of gradual. Meals are expected in less than 5 minutes in drive-through lines. Ever wait to catch a plane that was running late? You know the frenzied pace of an airport can reach a fever pitch when planes get a little off schedule. Though planes transport 150 people 1,000 miles in a little over 2 hours and save a day of travel by car, our patience is tried if they miss their scheduled departure times by 10 or 15 minutes. We know it’s crazy, and in some cases not really all that rational, but we expect fast, warp speed service.
A farmer scattering seed and waiting on a crop, has a way of reminding me of gradual growth. Though there isn’t much he can do to accelerate the process, it is happening. The farmer has done his part. GOD is at work, gradually bringing the seed to a place of transformation. I’ve noticed how impatient I can be waiting to see change in the lives of others. It is easy to forget how gradual GOD worked in my own life. The farmer’s job isn’t growth; it is to plant and later, to harvest.
Relentlessly. The seed grows. Very little stops it. Rain, hail, wind and heat don’t stop its growth. Our most persistent effort isn’t close to how relentlessly GOD has pursued us. No resource holds Him back from accomplishing His purposes. In Ephesians 1:21, we learn CHRIST sits “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.” For me, there’s a little perspective on how unmatched GOD is. He’s never overcome and He relentlessly accomplishes His intentions. The process may be more gradual than we’re comfortable with, but our faithful, persistent FATHER is moving.
Maybe you have a friend or loved one who appears to be wandering away from GOD. Maybe they’re slowly working through hard things. Trust GOD to accomplish His purposes in them. Like a farmer waiting on the seeds to break through the dirt, be confident that The LORD is at work.
"YOU take care of the earth, and water it, making it rich and fertile. The rivers of GOD will not run dry; they provide a bountiful harvest of grain, for YOU have ordered it so…YOU crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance." (Psalm 65:9,11 NLT)