I’m innocently reading my Bible, doing what I’m supposed to, when something jumps off the page and hits me right in the old mug! How many times have I read Luke 8? And where exactly? It’s in the parable of the seeds. And only one measly word. That’s all. As if hidden in the wings, waiting to come on stage, on cue.
Recently I’ve been down in the mouth. My two devotional books haven’t exactly flown off the shelves or made the NY Times best-seller list. When’s the last time scads of new followers sign up for these weekly devotionals? Or how many even bother to say ‘thanks’? One or two at most.
In Luke 8, I’m reading about those seeds and their possibility of success or lack of such. Ever since my first assignment as a student assistant pastor during Princeton Seminary days, I’ve loved creating programs that get the message of Jesus out to others. Dedicated a couple of summers to leading Good News Clubs in that rural New Jersey church for hundreds of kids.
I love seeing programs take root, take off and bear fruit. From hosting a weekly Christian TV program, pastoring a couple of churches, writing devotional books, I’ve not actually been gathering dust. But problems come when I get antsy for results. Easily discouraged, pulling on new crops to make them grow faster. Grandiose goals I’ve set for myself. The bigger the better!
So what knocks me on my ear? Luke 8: 15–‘As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.’ There it is–that last word. ‘PATIENCE’? That’s what I’d glossed over. Soft-pedaled. On purpose?
Patience. Trusting His timing and ways. Giving Jesus my life. He’ll make more of it than I ever could. Yours too. I’m struggling, probably in a tizzy. But you know what? He’s not done with either of us! Not by a long stretch!
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that we can rest in you. Amen.