One of the best things about my rental property is the large mango tree in the backyard. I greatly enjoy continuing the long-standing tradition begun by former missionaries of placing ripe mango on the wall in front of my house for people to take.
But a strange thing happened this year….
I had very few mango’s to put on the wall!
Part of this has to do with the La Soufrière volcanic eruption in 2021, but mostly it’s because we haven’t been getting much rain. For a few weeks now I’ve had people asking about my mango’s, and I always tell them “wait for the rain to come.”
And finally last week the rains came!
Yesterday (Saturday) I walked into my backyard and picked up eight mango’s for people to eat (I don’t generally climb the tree, just take the ones that drop). Now the front wall, and the wall separating me from my neighbor has at least five lined up.
I can’t help but be reminded through this experience that just like a physical harvest, a spiritual one takes patience. Unfortunately this is something many of us (myself included) have little of! We become frustrated when spiritual fruit doesn’t come as quickly we believe that it should, and often just give up in frustration.
But the God who brings physical rain to grow fruit on trees will also do a spiritual work in lives if we are patient.
Ministry is sometimes frustrating because you put lots of work into lives, and see little fruit. Thankfully as I wrote last week, God is the one who brings the fruit, but He rarely works on our time schedule. Of course God’s time is always best, but it’s hard to remember that when you don’t see a difference being made.
In those moments we must rest in a simple fact….
The rain will arrive
And the harvest will come!
God WILL build His church! But He sovereignly chooses to bless the faithful who go through the seasons of bounty, and famine. So we plow the ground, plant the seed, add fertilizer, give water, and pull out the weeds. Knowing that someday our Lord will bring the harvest.