I talked with one of my sisters this week. We are waiting on answers to prayers and much of our conversation centered on the frustration of the not knowing. Not knowing what is going to happen. Not knowing when things will change. Not knowing if there is something else we need to be doing. Or not doing.
Do not lose heart.
That’s what the Lord brought to my mind. Being All-Knowing, He put this very scripture on the TV screen at 4 am this morning to remind me: Don’t give up. I needed to hear it again.
We are women of faith. We believe that God is the God of the impossible, the God Who lovingly cares for and watches over us, the God Who has promised to meet ALL our needs. But we want our faith to grow at the speed of light. Or the speed of sound. Or high-speed internet. Hey, we’ll even take the speed of dial-up! Just grow and produce something!!
In the words of Beatrice’s friend, “That’s not how this works…” Faith grows at the speed of a seed.
Seeds take time. They are most often placed in an environment that is dark and wet while also requiring light in order to grow. They must be nurtured with the proper nutrients for development. They are planted with the expectation that if they perform as designed, the outer seed coat will break and the seedling will come forth. Some seeds take longer to germinate than others. Seeds can also remain dormant, producing nothing; they have the potential for growth but cannot produce if they are not placed in the proper environment.
This environment we’ve been subjected to can often be uncomfortable. It’s dark and we can’t see what’s happening. We must guard that weeds of weariness are not allowed to creep in. We many times have things that must be broken before growth comes forth. The Light is shining on us and will have His effect if we don’t uproot ourselves with doubt and unbelief. We must give our faith attention – we must nurture it with His love and His word. We must trust Him when our seeds take longer to produce than we had hoped. We must accept that His timing is always perfect, even when it takes a lifetime for a seed to grow.
My faith garden is a constant effort. Some seeds sprouted long ago and have remained strong through the years. Others I have patiently watched as the process has been much slower. Then, of course, there are those that I have planted and paced around, falsely believing that I could speed the process by my constant demands. And still others lay dormant, waiting for the chance to grow.
If we have faith as a mustard seed…*
No matter what seeds of faith we have planted, it takes time. But Jesus promised that our faith would produce results! We must plant a faith seed that He is faithful even when we can’t see the result. Some of the answers to our prayers will only be understood when we are face to face with Him. If we are not careful, we get a bit slack on nurturing these seeds of faith.
What are you praying for? A spouse to be saved? A wayward child to return? Enough money to pay the bills? Healing? Peace? Rest? Whatever it is, don’t lose heart, don’t give up. Remember:
…let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. Galatians 6:9