By Tommy Rush
Recently my grandkids planted an apple tree on our property. I let them choose the tree, dig the hole and put the tree in the ground. Honestly I know very little about growing an apple tree, but we’re learning together and trying our hand at something new. One week after planting the tree, my five year old granddaughter found a basket that she needed really bad while shopping on front street. Upon being told that she in fact did not need the basket, she insistently proclaimed, “Yes I do! I need the basket to put my apples in! How will I gather all the apples without a basket?” She had sown and was now ready to reap.
After explaining to her that it could be years before she picks an apple from that tree, her demeanor changed. Thinking long and hard she then posed the question, “Even if we water it?” Yes, we water and we make sure the soil is nourishing and we stake it and pray that a big storm doesn’t come and completely destroy it. We do all these things despite the fact that we will not be rewarded for our efforts immediately. This truth doesn’t sit well with you when you are five. If we’re honest, this does not sit too well with sixty year olds either.
The conversation with my granddaughter reminded me of the truths found in scripture:
“Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:7-10
“And let us not grow weary in doing good…” We may tend to the relationships in our lives. We may pour life and truth into our children day in and day out. We may serve our neighbors and co-workers by praying for them, encouraging them and sharing truth with them. All the while, we are not promised to see the fruit of that love immediately. Just like my little granddaughter we keep watering the tree, we stake it down and do everything we can do to help it grow strong and healthy, but then we trust the Lord with the outcome. We rest in the promise that as we do good, as we share the gospel with those around us, in due season (no matter when that season is actually due) we will reap baskets full of kingdom fruit!