Saturday, November 26, 2011


Loess field in Germany.Image via Wikipedia
Now and When

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)

The commercial slogan "I want it now" works because it connects with people. How quickly credit cards would  have gone out of style if that were not so. 
     We think of productivity as a short-term matter because we can move things, ideas, and people quickly. "Have you been productive today? How many units did you sell? How many pages did you write? How many books did you start? How many newspapers did you read? How many new ideas did you come up with? How many people did you contact?" In one day. Productivity is measured by such things today.
     Could patience ever win over productivity when "now" is the measurement? When numbers can be made to rise quickly? When gadgets or gimmicks can create an immediate stir? 
     Patience is part of productivity in matters of the spirit. The "now" is "patience now." Does this mean that God does not work in the "right now"? God works in the "right now," of course. We have experienced and witnessed this, when faith shot up instantaneously and supernaturally, being wondrous and beautiful to behold. We have been amazed, knowing that only God could bring forth such a thing as a changed heart! New eyes to see with! Fresh air breathed into physical and spiritual lungs! Only God can do such a thing! 
     Yet also only He could see what was going on long before. He who sees and knows the human heart saw what worked silently and quietly within. Only He could see and nurture the struggling growth of faith to burst forth, to break through the heart somehow softened toward even the possibility of God existing. That dark, damp, rain-soaked, sun-fed or dried soil of the heart. Invisibly, it pumps automatically and then suddenly, on that rare occasion, it leaps literally for joy. The soil of the heart lying there inert, seemingly, is bringing forth something that only God's feeding can make possible. When the soil of the heart is good. When it is willing and ready.
     There the soil lies, of no particular attractiveness, yet its fertility is now allowed. It hardly can know how ready is the seed of the Word of God about to take root there, ever so quietly. The seed will fall at the moment the somewhat ignorant soil will yield a bit so that the seed can embed and then begin to grow. 
     What is written on that seed? Can we read what it says? What did that special seed of faith and new life proclaim? We cannot detect for others, only for ourselves, if even that. 
Does the Lord say that we are to bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)? That would not be a bad reading. Yet read again: The fertile soil of the heart, allowing the seed, the Word of God, will bring forth fruit with patience. This is the seed that fell on the good ground, the eternal Word that fell upon willing ears, eyes, and heart. The soil of the heart was good, ready, and therefore received it and let it grow. This speaks of your heart and of mine, of our neighbor's heart, our enemy's, and all human hearts that still are beating.
     The patience of God is what He calls us to participate in, with Him. What a glorious calling if we see it like this. He sees into the soil,the human heart, not we. But, He lets us know it is there, and it can be deceitful above all things. Yet, it waits as God's corrupted Creation to be good, ready to accept good seed for good productivity. God sees the dark workings of the soil, the human heart, which we can only imagine or guess at; but He tells us that if we will not hinder, there may be a patch where some seed can hold on and live, coming into a new form, new life springing forth with its own fruitfulness to bear. 

The psalmist wrote, in effect, "Search me and know me, O God, and see if there be any wicked way in me. And lead me to life everlasting." He invited God to search his heart, its soil ready for wickedness and death or goodness and life in all its fruitfulness, or productivity. The psalmist concluded that when all of God's work in him was done, then he, having yielded himself to God's work, would come forth as gold. 

Copyright (c) Opinari Writers, Jean Purcell

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