Joy in the Sowing

I’m still reading through the book of Galatians in the “Change Your Mind” Bible reading plan; I recently finished the 12th reading of this book. Eight more readings to go. Years ago, I memorized a verse from Galatians–Galatians 6:9

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

This verse has encouraged me numerous times, especially in parenting and home-schooling. When I repeat it to myself, I often say it like this:  “We WILL reap a harvest…”

So much of raising up young lives involves taking the long view, planting seeds by faith that you hope will produce fruit as your children grow. But on many days, I don’t see the fruit. Sometimes I simply don’t want to keep waiting in hope that my labor is not in vain–I want to see with my own eyes the results of building into my children. I want to see growth in their spelling or reading or handwriting, growth in their knowledge or character or maturity that I can observe and measure and check off. I confess:  Some days, I find myself wishing I could live by sight–finding life and courage and contentment by what I SEE– instead of having to continue persevering in a life of faith.

2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight.”

On those days, I try to stay the course, keep doing what I know I need to do, what I know my life’s work is. And I do it hoping, trusting that it will matter, but I don’t have the proof right before me. Not yet.

And on some days, like today, I discover some joy right in the very midst of the sowing. The harvest is not yet ready, and yet there is joy, and there is fruit.

Today it looked like this:  Lots of laughter and cuddles in our school day at home. Wisdom to know when enough was enough with the math lesson and give my son a break. Patience when it was needed. Mistakes made and corrected. A sweet little “Can I sit in your lap while I do my hand writing?” Seeing my almost-ten-year-old lounging in the recliner, quietly reading a book during his silent reading time. I watched my big boy turn those pages, and I thought, “This is it.”  This is life and love and real connection in real relationship with my children.

calvin with headphones

We plant looking forward to the harvest that is to come, but God will also give us blessings all along the way, even long before the harvest. Recognize those blessings–we have to be alert to take notice of them, especially if we’re preoccupied with looking for “success” and productivity–and there is joy in the sowing.

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