Lessons on the Waiting Life - Encouragement for Today - May 17, 2016

Annie Downs

May 17, 2016

Lessons on the Waiting Life

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

I love the thought of living the farm life. But growing up, the closest I ever got were the grapevines and gravel driveway that led up to my childhood home.

To me, the thought of living on a farm meant the chance to play in endless dirt. As a tomboy kind of gal, I always had my hands and feet in the dirt, and I loved when my grandmother would tell stories about her life as a cotton farmer while we picked Muscadine grapes.

But it wasn’t until I went off to college and made friends with some South Georgia folks that I learned a great lesson about the farm life through the eyes of a farmer.

A bunch of us went home with our friend for a weekend. In true college fashion, we showed up caravan style after our 4-hour drive and piled on beds to take naps.

That night at dinner, as we sat down to enjoy homegrown food, my friend’s dad prayed to bless the food. He also prayed for the soil and the rain. That stuck out to me, as I had never heard anyone pray like that before.

Later, he explained that the soil needed to be just right and the rain needed to come for the crops to grow, so their family would have produce to sell. God had allowed him the strength to do the planting, but the rest was entirely up to God, and his job now was to wait on the completion of God’s provision while continuing his faithful work.

Later, we went out to see the pecan trees, the fields and the family’s livelihood. The farm life was just as fascinatingly beautiful as I imagined, but it was also educational.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized farming is featured all throughout the Bible … from Adam and Eve’s instructions to take care of the land, to Jesus’ use of agricultural metaphors in His teachings.

We can learn a lot from farmers … especially in regard to waiting.

I imagine farmers know first hand what our key verse encourages, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

I don’t know anyone else who better understands the toiling, the waiting, the trusting and the hope that comes in the middle of waiting on God, more than a farmer.

I want to have a farmer’s heart when it comes to how I view and face various trials in my life, the seasons of waiting and the harder-than-I-realized times.

After a crop is planted, a farmer doesn’t just kick back in a rocking chair on the front porch for a season of sipping sweet tea and lemonade. (That’s what I imagine farmers drink.) They look after their crops for anything that would threaten to harm their harvest: weeds, bugs, hungry animals, diseases … the list could go on depending on geography and climate.

My friend’s farmer father didn’t fret over all the cares of the growing season. He sought God for provision of every detail … right down to the soil under his feet.

We would do well to follow his example.

We may not be planning to go out and toss seeds across the yard today, but we can make the choice to persevere with patience in any situation we find ourselves in or any challenge that comes our way.

When we plant seeds of Scripture and the loveliness of the character of God continually into our hearts, we will persevere.

Dear God, thank You for providing for me in ways that I see and ways that I’ve yet to realize. Help me to wait on You with the assurance that You will provide for all my needs. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

1 Corinthians 3:7, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (NIV)

Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (NIV) 

If you long to see God in the everyday of life, you’ll want to get a copy of Looking For Lovely: Collecting Moments That Matter, a Bible study by Annie Downs.

Enter to WIN a copy of the Looking For Lovely Bible study. In celebration of this book, Annie’s publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, May 23.}

How will the picture of the farmer waiting on God to bring sunlight and rain help you in a current or future season of waiting?

© 2016 by Annie Downs. All rights reserved.

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Originally published Tuesday, 17 May 2016.