Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sowing and Reaping

I have been making my way through a Beth Moore bible study called the Psalms of the Ascent. It's only six weeks, and I thought it should be easy to get it done before baby arrives. I think I've been at it for two months, and I am only at week three! My motivation has been near zero to get this done. But yesterday I watched the week three video, and it was so good. I hope I can do it justice, trying to put it into my own words here. There are 15 psalms of the ascent and so we spend two days on each psalm. It really gives you a chance to study each individual psalm and tear it apart. one of the Psalms in week three we studied was this: Psalm 126

   "When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy. They they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."  The LORD had done great things for us; we were joyful.
   Restore our fortunes , LORD, like watercourses in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves."  (HCSB)

One thing she focused on in her teaching was how everything we go through here on earth, every trial, every heartbreak, serves a purpose, and if we will just trust God, we will reap the harvest of those tears and the seed we were given. But sometimes we choose to eat the very seed we should be sowing. For instance, if we are struggling with forgiving someone who has wronged us terribly, and we go to church or bible study, and the word was on forgiveness, and it touched our hearts, brought tears to our eyes, caused us to feel tender, we then go home, feeling filled, but the instant we return to that situation, we don't apply what we have learned, we have chosen to eat the seed, and not plant it to harvest at a later time. Beth also shared the example of a remote tribe in Africa who was starving, they were given seed to plant to grow an abundance of food for the tribe, but rather then plant it and harvest a greater amount of food later, they ate the seed right away, and had nothing to show for it later.
This idea of eating the seed before sowing it and reaping a harvest really spoke to me. I think, rather I know, there are times I do that alot. Especially concerning my kids. I might read something or hear someone and think, wow I really need to apply that to my life. I go home, and within five minutes I am frustrated and angry and it's like everything I have just learned has gone out the window. This sowing and reaping thing takes time, and because we live in an instant gratification society, if we don't see change right away, we become frustrated and lose interest, or figure this is just the way life is. But God is into the long haul, transformation, TIME. God has patience. And I am so grateful He does. There are times I expect my children to immediately do what I ask, and when they don't I get so mad. (I am not saying instant obedience isn't important, IT IS), but the way I react isn't very gracious. But God is gracious ALL the time.
I want to become more of a sower, so that I can have a harvest to reap at the right time. I don't want to eat my seed right away and then have nothing to show for it in the long haul. I want to be the one who goes along sowing my seed in tears, yet knowing that I will be returning with shouts of joy, carrying my harvest.

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