Life is a lot of work.
The list in my head of business to handle, people to care for and projects to complete – not to mention the ceaseless cycle of cleaning – can get so overwhelming. I often sit immobilized and can’t attend to any of it.
Does anyone else feel like the whole machine of family, or ministry, or career, depends entirely on you to keep moving?
Like you’re the one shoveling all the coal and if you don’t keep up, the train will immediately run out of steam?
What a relief to encounter the truth of Mark 4:26-29:
“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.
Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.
All by itself, the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.
As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
The corn in our local fields is incredibly tall this year.
This is due in part to periods of intense labor – preparing the soil, sowing the seed, and irrigating regularly.
Yet most of the growth has occurred regardless of the farmer’s activity.
He could binge-watch Netflix all day for weeks (if a farmer could ever sit still that long) and that crop would flourish no less than if he were pacing the fields daily to check on each stalk.
While we all strive to be responsible for the “fields” God has given us, there are times in life when we simply can’t accomplish all we wish we could.
God’s grace in these seasons is so comforting as we witness the results of His work, His multiplication of our meager loaves and fish to feed the crowds we long to serve.
I’m rejoicing in just such a blessing this year. Due to some physical limitations, I’ve been able to host only one Mercy Market event so far in 2018. I have tried to assist in other ways, bud didn’t succeed there either. You can imagine the sense of inadequacy and frustration that resulted.
All I could do was pray and plant a couple of seeds.
On those two occasions, I sensed the Lord’s nudging to share about some major expenses Mercy Market was facing this year. Our team had wrestled with this dilemma, reluctant as always to spend any money we could channel to our international partners. As God moved in the hearts of those with whom I shared, the needed funds poured in. Through the generosity of our eastern Montana supporters, He provided over $3,500 without my having to sell a thing!
How often we forget that God has unlimited ways to solve a problem.
Like the farmer who “does not know how” his crop grows, we can be assured that He is at work when we are not, and that the spiritual development of our loved ones, the advance of the Kingdom of Light, the ministry of those precious partners of ours around the world, will continue and thrive for His glory.
The Lord is the One shoveling the coal and building His church, and neither our inadequacies nor powers of Hell itself will quench the holy fire.
May this truth keep us faithful in our seed-sowing, expectant in our praying, and peacefully confident in our day-to-day activities that God will perform the miracle of growth.
When she’s not busy being the Queen of the Nile, Lynn is an active part of Mercy Market. A lover of all things chocolate, she has covered Eastern Montana events for us since 2014. She and her husband, Kelly, with their two boys, have pastored at Fairview Alliance for 25 years. Lynn enjoys reclaiming “junk” and making it into something beautiful. We are incredibly grateful for all she does for those who are in desperate situations both internationally and locally.