You never know when an “I know you can do it” will provide confidence.
You never know when a smile will put someone at ease.
You never know when a new strategy will create clarity.
You never know when a second chance will give hope.
You never know when an appropriate consequence will change behavior.
You never know…
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. Galatians 6:9
We live in an instant gratification society. Amazon anyone? It is so easy to get what we want when we want it. As a result, we grow impatient. We want to see the results of our labor NOW. None of us would plant a seed, water it, and expect to see growth immediately. Gardeners know that for a good harvest to occur, the soil has to be prepared. The seed has to be planted correctly and propagated. As the plant grows, it must be protected from disease, insects, and predators. Much work has to be done to reap the harvest. I believe that is why Paul was encouraging us to not grow tired of doing what is good!
In the struggle to impact the lives of our students, it is easy to get impatient. Teaching is hard work, and when we don’t see the immediate results of our efforts, discouragement can set in. Teachers face many kinds of challenges (e.g., low motivation, abuse, past failure, helicopter parents, lack of administrative support). It seems at times like the “soil” we have to work with is polluted, causing us to doubt that the seeds we plant will ever grow!
While this is how we may feel, let me assure you God promises we will reap a harvest of blessing IF we don’t give up! After all, you never know what God will do with the seeds we plant in the lives of others on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at what’s involved in reaping a harvest of blessing.
Prepare. The first step in preparing the “soil” around us is to display a spirit of love through our own words and actions. Do people see the light of Jesus in us? Do they see us as sincere, caring, and thoughtful? As believers, it will be difficult to plant seeds in others if the light of Jesus has grown dim in our own lives.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Plant. When I think of planting, a couple of verses come to mind.
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. Colossians 3:23-24
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Opportunities to plant seeds are all around us. God has uniquely placed every one of us where we are right now for a reason. We may not understand, we may not know why, but He does. He also purposefully places people in our path. The students we have in our classrooms are not there by accident. The colleagues we pass in the hallway are there for a reason. We must look for opportunities to plant seeds. Whatever you do, do your work heartily for the Lord.
What seeds is God asking you to plant this week? Seeds of love? Kindness? Encouragement? Forgiveness?
Propagate. Once seeds are planted, they have to be watered and fertilized in order to grow. Sometimes we get the opportunity to fertilize the seeds we planted. Other times God asks us to fertilize the seeds planted by someone else. Fertilizing and watering takes consistency and commitment. For teachers, our students and colleagues become our garden into which we can sow love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:23-24). You never know the power of one simple gesture. Let’s look around for those who need to be encouraged, loved, counseled, or supported. Water those seeds! We want others to know the peace and joy that comes from knowing Jesus!
Protect. It is important to protect ourselves (and others) from discouragement. The routines of life can cause us to lose sight of the harvest, especially if the harvest seems far off. Satan would love for us to grow impatient and weary, forgetting the seeds that have been sown around us. However, if we don’t grow tired of doing what is good, God’s Word promises we will reap a harvest of blessing. For each of us, the blessing will be different. The blessing may simply come in knowing we planted and fertilized the seeds God gave us. Like many in the Bible, we may never see the results of the harvest this side of heaven, but I believe God’s Word is true. All those who are faithful will reap a harvest of blessing! Sometimes the growth process is long and hard. May we, like those in Hebrews 11, remain faithful to prepare, plant, propagate, and protect the harvest.
And all of these, though they gained [divine] approval through their faith, did not receive [the fulfillment of what was promised, Hebrews 11:39 AMP
(A special thank-you to Lauren Peel for the inspiration behind this blog. I am watering the seed you planted!)