Originally published Thursday, 23 July 2020.
Have you ever had to remind yourself of the same scripture over and over again? Most recently for me, it’s been Galatians 6:9. With all the uncertainties we’re facing, the ability to grow in the strength to keep going is always a good idea because although things have slowed down on some ways due to stay at home orders, companies encouraging their employees to work from home, and even kids moving to online learning in a lot of ways there’s still more work to do. On more than one occasion I’d had a friend tell me that in this season they are actually busier than ever and they are tired. We are in a season primed to grow weary and want to give up.
This is why Galatians 6:9 has been on repeat on my heart and mind recently. It reads:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 ESV)
The many times the Lord has brought his scripture to mind I’ve focused on the command it charges: do not give up. But as I’ve been meditating on this scripture, God has been illuminating the farming language and illustrations in this verse with the words grow, season, and reap. So that’s what I really want to dig into deeper today: growing weary, waiting for your due season, and being faithful in a reaping season.
So first, Galatians 6:9 tells us “do not grow weary of doing good.” It’s a timely reminder that weariness often doesn’t come out of the blue but it’s something that we grow into. Weariness starts as a seed that, if cultivated, will grow into the desire to give up. Growing weary can creep up on you and can cause us to miss out on reaping our harvest. We don’t just all of a sudden get weary, we grow weary.
The word weary here means to be weak or to fail in heart. It happens over time, as life circumstances slowing chip away at our confidence, faith, and strength without even our realizing it until one day we look up and just completely want to throw in the towel.
I don’t always notice my children’s growth day by day but it is obvious over time that they are in fact growing. When I look at pictures of them from last year, I ask myself when did they grow so big. This growth happened right before my eyes however the day by day does not reveal it because it’s easier to see growth over time.
In the same way, growing weary happens so slowing before you, you may not even recognize it.
Symptoms of growing weary look like:
- Losing patience in an area or with a person you would normally show kindness and grace to.
- Doubting if you’re headed in the right direction or doing the right thing after God has already confirmed over and over this is what He’s called you to do.
- Losing passion and zeal for the things you once always loved.
These symptoms don’t show up overnight. They all start with a seed of doubt that whispers to us that the good we are doing is not enough, or it doesn’t matter. Our weariness is rooted in the lie that our doing is somehow not good.
- Whenever I’ve become weary in motherhood, it’s usually rooted in the thought that I’m not a good mom, and I’m messing up my kids.
- Whenever I become weary in ministry it’s because my focus has shifted to the mundane day-to-day tasks more than the purpose of the work.
- When I become weary in marriage it’s usually because I’ve taken on a “what about me” mindset” and have become distracted from God’s original purpose for marriage with is to give Him glory.
So how do we prevent ourselves from growing weary? We remember the goodness of our work. Don’t grow weary in doing good. Remember why we started in the first place and don’t allow your purpose to be overshadowed by your challenges.
Obstacles will come, and many times they won’t be a sign we need to quit. They just mean we need to keep going and push through. And that pushing is what will be the very force that will make us stronger. I recently wrote in an article:
“Your obstacles aren’t here to drown you, but to teach you how to swim”
Here’s the thing. Growing is an ongoing process. There is not a time in your life that you are not growing because growing itself is a sign of life. If you are alive, you are growing.
- You are either going to grow weary or you will grow empowered by the good works that God has called you too.
- You will either grow tired or be energized by purpose.
- You will either grow fatigued or grow in strength as you stay determined and steadfast in the truth that what you are doing is good.
So we need to stop saying, oh I’m just a stay at home mom. Oh, I just have this tile job, I just started to ministry but it’s not that serious. If God called you to it it’s good work and it’s important to Him. This is why Colossians 3:23 say:
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
We grow weary when we stop working for God and lost focus of the truth that the work He’s called us to is good.
As I was teaching my kids about plant adaptations we learned how plants will grow in the direction of the sun to allow more sunlight to reach the surface area of their leaves giving the plants more nutrients for them to grow, flourish and bloom. We saw this first hand as a plant my son received from Sunday school grew bent towards the window in our kitchen, stretching itself towards the sun.
We too should do the same. We are going to grow, but we also have to power to decide in which direction that will be. My advice is to be like plants and grow towards the sun. Grow in God and His truth. Reject the lies and doubt that suffocate your potential for healthy growth and allow God’s Word to be the seed that promotes growth towards Him and His will for your life.
Not only are we directed not to grow weary but we’re also reminded to wait for the proper time. Trust me when I tell you that there is nothing more that will make you want to quit than to have to wait. But waiting is exactly what we’re called to do. In fact, waiting is the opposite of giving up. Many times we want to give up because we’re tired of waiting or we’ve received God’s wait as His no. But waiting doesn’t mean no God’s not going to do it, it simply means wait for it. But our impatience tells us our waiting season is a sure sign that we are wasting our time on this good work. But we must be reminded of this truth:
Your waiting is not wasting!
Let me say that again for the people in the back:
Your waiting is not wasting!
Waiting may be uncomfortable but it is necessary because we’re not just waiting for no reason, we’re waiting for the proper time. Our good works will be fruitful, however, if our harvest does not come at the right time it will be no good.
This year I bought all types of seeds to plant in our garden. Squash, tomatoes, radish, sweet potatoes, even watermelon. And on the back of each seed pack were directions on when to plant the seeds. For each seed type, there was a different window of time to plant the seeds to ensure the right conditions for them to grow and produce fruit. This ensures that the seed grows in the optimal environment to flourish and fruit. If it is planted out of season, and the weather and its environment is not conducive to its growth it will not produce fruit and eventually die.
But when it’s planted at the proper time, it grows into the perfect conditions to blossom.
Your desire to give up maybe a sign you’re trying to blossom out of season. It’s not that God does not want you to experience the fruit of your good work but He wants you to be able to maintain it.
Your harvest has different needs and God knows the right atmosphere for which your work will flourish. So he’s waiting on the perfect time to maximize the fruit He wants to produce through your good work.
What seems like God’s delay may very well be His providence. God doesn’t just want to give you a blessing He wants to empower you to maintain it. If He gives it to you at the wrong time, before you’ve grown into maturity for it, it may slip through your hands. I’m not going to give my son a mountain bike until he learns how to ride his tricycle. And waiting doesn’t mean do nothing, it means to keep working towards the goal, humble yourself, and be willing to prepare. Don’t think that you’re ready for something just because you want it.
It’s in waiting that we are strengthened to carry what God has for us because harvest is heavy. It’s easy to want something that you haven’t had to carry so we forget that reaping is work.
This is why we can’t afford to grow weary and weak. We need to strengthen ourselves to be able to maintain the harvest God has for us. We can be so quick to want the blessing but forget the responsibility it requires of us.
Harvest season is the busiest for the farmer. She must go out and gather the harvest. Her arms must be strong enough to carry all that her garden has produced and not only that she must do it in a timely manner because if she leaves her harvest too long it will rot.
Again in gardening and in life timing is important. The next harvest won’t be ready to come until you pick the one you have.
Oh, how I’ve experienced this truth in my relationship with God. Where He won’t give me what’s next until I’m faithful with what’s now. Many of us are waiting on God and He’s waiting on us to be faithful with the harvest His has already given us.
Many want to be in a harvest season not realizing this is the season where most work is required. We often forget that it’s in the harvest season we’re many people want to quit as well.
- You prayed and waited on that husband and now it’s your season and you got married only to realize that marriage is work.
- You begged God for that house and He provided only for you to realize that now you have to keep it up. The gutters need to be cleaned, the air conditioner needs to be fixed, homeowners association meetings need to be attended, property taxes need to be paid.
- You pleaded with God to increase your business and He did only for you to realize that yes you have more money but now you have employees to manage, laws to adhere to, and contracts to oversee.
We think that harvest season means we’ve arrived at our goal and can stop working. It’s quite the opposite. Harvest season is just the beginning, not the end. Your harvest season will be the most work, but it’s good work. Work that you should not give up on.
Though each season you’ll be tempted to give up for various reasons.
- In your planting season, you’ll wonder if it’s worth it.
- In your waiting season, you’ll speculate if it’s happening.
- In your harvest season, y’all question if you’re strong enough.
But though each season God had given us one simple command: don’t give up. That’s it. That’s all.
Your willingness to keep going and to keep getting back up when you fall down is the only prerequisite to reaping the benefits of your harvest.
I don’t know if your harvest is a healthy family, a ministry calling, a career endeavor or just getting dinner on the table tonight. But I do know the call is simple. Don’t grow weary, wait on God’s perfect timing, and don’t you give up.
Because Galatians 6:9 promises that we don’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to get everything right, we don’t have to have everyone like us or agree with us. We only need a determined and stubborn faith not to give up. So don’t.
Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.