Thursday, November 10, 2016

Planting Seeds of Faith: Reminders This Harvest Season

It’s harvest season around here—a time of year when our farmers work long hours.

At 10:30, in full darkness, after the kids are all asleep, and you’re in your PJs, many of our farmers are still on the combine, their headlights like bright stars in an expansive darkness.

We don’t farm, but we live next to a field, and this year they planted cotton.

For weeks, I’ve been driving by and thinking, I’ve got to capture that field—a blanket across the land with bolls like big, fluffy snowflakes.

I’ve always admired fields of white cotton. I remember as a kid, after the farmers had harvested and taken their modules to the gin, their trucks left behind white sheets along the side of the highway.

As a five- or six-year-old kid, I remember thinking it had snowed.

Only it wasn’t flakes of frozen moisture.

For the last several weeks, I keep looking at white fields.

Every day passing them on my way to and from work.

And thinking of the fruit of one’s labor—the present reality of a promise delivered.

What was once only seed and hope is now birthed and fully grown, ready to be received.

When they planted and watered and waited, they were believing for, hoping for the evidence of things unseen.

Isn’t that what faith is?

Pastor Paul said last week that we exercise our faith by standing in the presence of the future.

A leap of faith is a leap only because one’s feet must leave what is present reality for what is unknown, uncertain, unseen—and one must stand, placing her foot on the other end of the gap, to say, “This is what I believe for my future.”

I shy away from that sometimes, from making bold declarations of faith because aren’t I then held to that expectation? Won’t I be judged for whether it comes to pass?

But to remain so means my feet are stuck, are glued only in reality.

No leaping. No daring. No believing. No planting.

That’s the picture I’ve had lately as I pass these fields.

I’d be like a farmer who didn’t put seed in the ground for fear that nothing would produce.

Yet our farmers live by faith ever year, season to season.

And now, it’s harvest time—the blessing of yesterday’s unknown becomes the present of what was once future.

So, I’m daring today, to plant a seed of faith—a word that’s out there that I’ve been too scared to say in this space.

I am healed.

Despite former diagnoses related to infertility, I believe God has fully healed my body, that my reproductive system is whole and restored.

He doesn’t call me Barren One.

He has opened my womb, and He’ll make me to be the joyful mother of children.

So why would I be scared to say so?

Well…this didn’t just happen. God has healed my body every month for about 18 months, and every month, I witness the evidence of my healing.

If I’m taking this leap of faith only to silence the doubt, then so be it.

Doubt says, why have we not conceived if I’m healed? After 18 months, why is my status unchanged?

I don’t have an answer for that.

But I submit my heart to His Lordship.

I submit my heart to the King.

He knows all things.

He knows what I need and when I need it.

He holds time in His hands.

But for a year and a half, Howell and I have been timidly holding this little seed of faith.

In secret, we water it; we shower it with prayer.

We expose it to the sunlight and comfort of only those closest to us.

But on the whole, it’s been hidden.

And now, I feel like the Lord keeps telling me, it’s harvest season!

It’s time.

I’m planting my stake, the word of my mouth and all that’s in my heart, in the Promised Land.

I’m standing today for my future reality.

I used to read Joseph’s story and think he was crazy for telling his brothers about his dream. Why didn't he just keep his mouth shut?

But I now know it took courage and boldness to share what he did. And to continue to believe.

It says in Psalm 105:19, “Until what He said came to pass, the Word of the Lord tested him [Joseph].”

God’s word over us—that He’ll make me to be a joyful mother of children—continues to test us, month after month when we see no result.

But we believe the words we’ve heard, and the dozens and dozens of prophetic words spoken over us, we receive them.

I pass fields of white cotton.

Promise upon promise of yields planted in faith.

And I declare, our harvest will come.

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