Welcome back! My apologies for the three-week lapse in writing. The transition from home to college has been an intense experience but one that has proved to be more of a blessing than I ever could have imagined. The best way I could describe it is like a rain storm which often comes with uncomfortable winds and overwhelming thunder yet still provides the land with much-needed refreshment and leaves everyone with a new appreciation for the life they are surrounded with. That has been my college experience so far: overwhelming yet filled with unspeakable blessing. And unfortunately, in the downpour, writing took a back seat for awhile. But with the extra bit of free time allotted by the Labor Day weekend and by a healthy dose of grace heaped upon me by God, I think I am in a position where I can begin writing regularly once more.

I would like to thank everyone for the prayers, encouragement, and constant support. Your words have meant more to me than you could ever imagine. I pray that my writing continues to be a blessing in the lives of others in just as large of ways as it has been in mine. Enjoy and God bless.

Jon Hastings

Due Season

In all of ancient culture, no one time was celebrated more than the harvest season. It was a time marked with joyous celebrations, festivals, and gratitude. Finally, after their months of back-breaking labor, they had reached the end result. They had something to show for their late nights and their early mornings. For their careful sowing, continual watering, and endless weeding. They had worked hard and now they could enjoy the fruits of their labor, and, with all of that work in their review mirror, they now could rest in the knowledge that it was well worth it. It is out of those times that holidays like Thanksgiving were born. In high spirits, bellies full and plenty to go around, people began to realize just how fortunate they were, so they celebrated it. They thanked God and one another for what had been accomplished. For without the work and the wait, none of this could have been completed.

Cultivating is a work of timing just as much as it is a work of labor.  We can do all of the right things but if they are not done at the right time it accomplishes nothing. The same principle carries over into our Christian walk. Take a look at Galatians chapter 6:

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Galatians 6:9-10 ESV

In due season we will reap…” Much like on a farm or in an orchard, we will encounter times where it feels as though we are doing everything we possibly can to cultivate a thriving walk with God—yet, we do not see the fruit of our work. We are fertilizing for love, tilling for gentleness, irrigating for peace, yet, despite all of our very best efforts, we fail to see any sign of the fruit we have labored for. Seasons like those can be incredibly discouraging and, if we are not careful, they can cause us to give up hope altogether.

That is where this concept of “in due season” comes into play. Growth is not an instantaneous thing. In fact, it often takes weeks if not months, before we begin to see the slightest sprout work its way out of the ground to greet us. That period of waiting can be grueling. We can not see below the surface into our hearts. We have no way of knowing if our efforts are beginning to take root. It is not until it has had proper time to germinate and stretch upwards that we have any insight as to what is going on beneath the soil.

But just because we are without knowledge does not mean that we are without hope. We have the word of God and the comfort of Christ to assure us that our cultivating is not fruitless. And it is in that time of waiting for the due season, that we see the growth of so much more. We are forced to slow down and learn to be patient and to trust. To “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10b) To realize that just like Paul, we may have planted and we may have watered, but it is ultimately God who causes the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6)

There may be times when God does grant us instantaneous growth, such as at the beginning of our walk with Christ. We may very suddenly develop a thirst for the Word or a very rapid change in our behavior. Times like those parallel very neatly with the creation of the world itself. God created Adam as a wholly formed man, not an infant, and the same goes for things such as the trees in the Garden of Eden. In order to bring glory to Himself, God created certain things fully grown, but from that point of creation on things took time to grow. Instantaneous growth was the exception—not the rule.

Likewise, as we become new creations in Christ, we may experience some growth that is immediate, but after that point, almost everything is going to take time and patience to grow. It is in the times of waiting that we need to learn to trust God. He knows exactly what we need and exactly when we need it. He will allow our fruit to grow at just the right moment in, just the right season, to have just the right effect. So, as verse ten states, we must not give up doing good. Instead, we must take every opportunity to use what we do have to bless those around us, resting securely in the knowledge that God will provide for our every need. Growth takes time, but that time is meant to be a blessing, not a curse. So let us treat it as such and spend our time being grateful for a God who is totally in control.

As always, with the love and grace of Christ,

Jon Hastings

“Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.”

Isaiah 30:18 NASB

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