Times to Plant & to Uproot
“A time to plant and a time to uproot what has been planted.” Ecclesiastes 3:2
Many of you planted vegetables this spring. You brought in fresh and healthy dirt, dug trenches, and planted seeds. You anticipated the harvest it would bring this summer.
Though the initial aspect of planting is exciting, the monotony of waiting for the harvest can be wearisome and tedious. It’s waiting for the seed to produce roots that will stretch out into the ground around it and push itself above the surface. It’s knowing what is vegetable and what is weed. Then plucking the weeds around the plants so they don’t steal the nutrients from it. It’s waiting for the right balance of sun, water, and wind to nourish and strengthen the plant in order to produce the vegetables.
Some vegetables grow under the ground so it’s hard to tell when they’re ripe for harvest. You’re guaranteed to pick one before its due time.
Eventually the exciting harvest come. You planted a few seeds and now you have an abundant crop.
This is much like our Christian faith.
The Lord plants seeds of His truth within us. He does the hard work of preparing good soil, digging trenches, planting the seeds, and giving us a decent watering.
As we develop, our roots stretch out in the darkness of the soil. In time, our plant pushes above ground. This is a vulnerable time where we’re more exposed. We don’t have a strong enough root system yet to handle strong winds or animals trying to eat us. The Lord protects us as we continue to grow. He gives us His Living Water, His Light, and His Breath to help nourish and strengthen us. He plucks the weeds around us and prunes off whatever isn’t necessary.
This can be likened to our entire faith journey until we reach the harvest of our final day on earth where we pass from this part of our eternal life into the glorious presence of Christ in heaven.
However, as King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, there are also seasons of this as well. There are seasons when we can’t see the Lord doing much in our lives. This is often referred to as a season of waiting. It can feel dark, dry, or monotonous. It can even feel painful at times when he prunes us. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s happening in the spiritual realm around us and only feel what’s happening at the moment.
Our Farmer, the Lord, does beautiful work. He isn’t worried that you are going to wither, dry up, or even grow too quickly. He’s calculated the exact amount of water, sun, and wind needed to nourish and strengthen your roots.
Eventually, the days of harvest come when all the work that the Lord did in the planting season is revealed. He rewards you for waiting with abundant fruit. He then takes that growth in you, and uses it to bless others. It might be that you share a testimony of what He’s done, you start serving in a ministry, you have more money to be able to bless others with, you start a new relationship, etc. The harvest may look different for each of us.
The planting and uprooting periods are cyclical. We are to be patient and wait on the Lord in the planting seasons and celebrate God’s great work in the seasons of harvest.
At all times, we are to “rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say rejoice.” Philippians 4:4. The Lord is watching over you, nourishing you, tending to your needs, and giving you His strength to endure until the next season of harvest.
Which season are you in right now?