“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” ~ James 5:7-8
Yesterday, I spent some time reading an article about a man who purchased 19 acres of wasteland in Hawaii.
Having been to the island he lives on, it was difficult to imagine any part of it being declared by the government as wasteland. But some of it is. The parcel of land this man purchased had been used for crops, firewood, cattle, and eventually deprived of water nearly altogether. The soil was too poor to support any kind of Hawaiian tree.
But this man had a vision for the acreage. Rather than deem it unworthy, he plunked down his money and started to do something about it the day he closed on the property – he began planting trees.
He started small, with nonnative trees that would drop their needles and enrich the soil. Now, 30 years later, he has planted over four thousand trees. His land no longer looks like a wasteland. It looks like the beautiful rainforest vegetation you would fully expect to see on a lush Hawaiian island.
It is amazing what vision, patience and attention can do.
Reading this story brought today’s verses from James to mind. I think many times we expect to share Christ with someone and bam! They see the light and come to faith in Him. No maintenance required. But so often that isn’t true. You must plant many seeds of faith into someone’s life, carefully tending and encouraging them to grow. It may take years for the seeds to take root, but when it does – be prepared to see God do great and mighty things!
Much like the man in the article, we need to remember that some people require more time to see God. They may be deeply wounded and need a lot of love to feel secure again. We shouldn’t be so quick to write anyone off – God’s desire is for everyone to know and love Him.
Perhaps you know someone who seems like a lost cause. Pray for them today. Continue to plant little seeds of faith in their life. And above all, be patient. God can do powerful things, if we are willing to wait on Him.