FAITHFULNESS AND FRUITFULNESS
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3
God calls us to be faithful. His timing is perfect. When He speaks it is time to respond in obedience and without delay. There is no such thing as postponing a decision to follow God. Either we obey or we disobey. His timing is always perfect.
Our first problem is that we want to put off responding to God in order to meet out time schedule. But our second problem is that when we do respond, we want to see the ultimate outcome of our actions.
In Psalm 1:3 the psalmist speaks of planting a tree. Our problem is that trees don’t grow overnight. Many years ago, I planted a magnolia tree in our front yard. It is still growing and I may never see it reach its full growth.
It is like that with God. He calls us to be faithful and sometimes we don’t even understand his ultimate plan and what’s more may never see it either. We are called on to be faithful and let God judge the fruitfulness of our work, which we may never see.
Too many of us are fixated on immediate gratification. All too frequently, a company’s worth is now measured almost entirely by the paybacks it achieves in the near term, rather than by its ability to plan effectively and execute a sustainable long-term growth strategy.
Bill Moyers said “Old people still plant trees they will never sit under.” He underlined the optimism and selflessness of senior citizens who plant trees for those who come after them, knowing they themselves will never enjoy the shade the trees will one day offer. In Christian ministry we often plant today so that those who come after us tomorrow might harvest.
Could Noah have envisioned the vastness of the human race that he was instrumental in preserving? Jeremiah, who in his lifetime saw little results of his preaching, would be amazed at the number of souls that have since been inspired and encouraged by his message. Jesus, after three years of diligent ministry, saw only the first fruits of the harvest that would eventually result. Paul, missionary to the Gentiles, lived to see the church begin to flower outside Judaism. Could he have visualized a church that today is almost exclusively composed of Gentile believers?
How about you? Are you willing to be a seed planted for God so that generations to follow may benefit from the fruits of your labor? Just be faithful and leave it to God to count the fruit. ( a thought on life from John Grant )