I grew up in Iowa, and one of my fondest memories is of the spring time planting season. In the spring it was common to see tractors out in the fields plowing up the soil, or getting behind one on the highways as they travelled to and from home. There was something majestic about seeing the big plows out there on the hills of the prairie that just made one appreciate where you came from. From the rising of the sun, one would see them out there toiling away at making sure this year was a great one. At night the lights coming from their big pieces of equipment could be seen for miles. If you drive along Interstate 80 at any time, day or night, you can see John Deere after John Deere out there plowing up the rich, dark soil, preparing it for corn and soy beans. That is Iowa.
There is a lot to do to get the soil ready for the year’s crop. But after the seeds have been planted, there isn’t a whole lot of activity in the fields. You may see a tractor or two laying fertilizer, or spraying weed killer, but once the seeds are in, all one can do is wait. This was the picture I was reminded of this morning as I was praying for our pet care business. This summer has been the busiest summer on record for our company. We have signed new client after new client. We have grown so much that our little group of three has now grown to seven pet sitters. God has grown us, and God has truly blessed us.
But, as I looked at the next few months of scheduled services I got a little concerned. There is a definite drop in needs, and we don’t have a lot of jobs scheduled at this time. Our calendar looks a little bare. As I looked over our upcoming months, I found myself beginning to question whether or not we were going to make a profit at all. I also began to ask the Lord if this really was the path that He wanted me on. As I prayed about all these doubts and worries, not only was I reminded of the farm lands of Iowa, but I was reminded of a scripture passage in James.
“Be patient, therefore, brothers until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.” James 5:7 ESV
Did you know that corn can take up to 100 days to reach full maturity? Grape vines can take up to two years to produce wine quality grapes, and that some varieties of fig trees can take up to 20 years before they reach their full fruit producing potential. The farmers in Iowa didn’t till the ground, prep the soil and plant the seeds thinking that the next day they would have a full crop. They didn’t expect growth overnight, and neither should we. My uncle was a famer, and he would work in the fields night and day, planting the seeds, and doing whatever he could to make his crop successful, but in the end, he trusted God to provide the harvest. He trusted that God would give the increase, and all his hard work would pay off in the end.
I am a results driven person, I always have been. It is one of the reasons why I believe I am good at managing a business, but it has also caused me to become so focused on the results that I have missed out on the joy that can be found in waiting.
“And if you will indeed obey My commandments that I command you today to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil.” Deuteronomy 11:13-14 ESV
This scripture encourages us to continue on this path that God has set before us, confident
One thing I have learned about business is that it is unpredictable. One day you are rolling in the customers and the next day all you can hear is the sound of the crickets in the field behind you. But I believe that the Lord God wants to encourage us today to be patient. Stay the course. Keep advertising, keep passing out those business cards, tend the soil that is before you and don’t give up my fellow friend. He will bring the rain and that rain will produce a harvest that will leave you breathless and in awe of His greatness.
Remember what Paul teaches us in Galatians? He encourages us to “not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 ESV) We are going to have bumps and bruises. We are going to face trials and mishaps, ups and downs, but we can’t stop now. Continue to be obedient in what He has called you to do, and keep planting the seeds along this path that He has laid before you. He promises us, that in due time, we shall reap. Be patient my brothers and sisters, for our God always brings the rain. Amen.