Thursday, July 14, 2011

Not in Vain

     I happened upon this wildflower, Moth Mullein, along my walking route last year. Like many wildflowers, it does not appear remarkable at first glance. At one inch across, the bloom is not so big as to catch your attention. However, if you take the time to make a closer inspection you can begin to appreciate its hairy stem and the tinge of purple found at its center. Further study provides two more interesting tidbits: it is so named for the purple hairs on its stamens, which resemble the fuzzy antennae of a moth, and its seeds remain viable for more than one hundred years. I am so delighted by the attention our Creator has given to this wildflower and to each of us.

     After reading all of that, I bet you are wondering how the Lord spoke to me through this wildflower! Well, it was the part about the seed, but I'll provide a bit of background to better explain. I have continued on the "narrow path" the Lord put me on last year. It has taken some adjusting to along the way, but I think that I've done pretty well. Lately, though, I have begun noticing that I am feeling a bit lonely and isolated. I spend my days pouring myself out for my family, at times sacrificing more than I'd like if I'm totally honest with myself and you. The reward seems so minimal when I look at it in the here and now. I mean, it's sometimes hard to see the bright future in the midst of sibling quarrels and hearts that seem reluctant at times to embrace attitudes that glorify the Lord. It's easy to wonder at times if any of my hard work is even making a difference.

     As always, whenever I get off track, the Word is there to redirect me. How thankful I am for that bit of protection! The Lord began to faithfully minister to me with verses such as the following:
  • "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).
  • "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:1,2).
  • "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Colossians 3:23).
  • Titus 3:1 tells us "to be ready to do whatever is good."
  • The end of Hebrews 11:6 tells us that "he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
     I could go on and on with verses like the ones I shared. Ultimately, the Lord drove the point home by reminding me of the spiritual seed that I sow into my children's lives. Sometimes I can see that things are sprouting and taking root in their hearts. Praise God for that! Other times, I have to fight the temptation to tap my foot in impatience as I wait and wait for anything to grow. The fact that the seed of the Moth Mullein wildflower  remains viable for one hundred years speaks to me of how far reaching our seed planting efforts extend. I may not see certain things now, or even in my lifetime, but that does not mean that my work was in vain. If my memory serves me correctly, I heard in a sermon once that we are not judged immediately after our death because our works, whether good or bad, live on after us. Wow! That thought is both awesome and scary at the same time. Who knows when something I said or did will pop into my children's minds, causing them to live more fully for Him? Who knows who they or their children or grandchildren will influence for the Kingdom because of an unselfishly planted seed by their mother.

     Father God, thank You that I can always count on You to reign me in and remind me of what is true. Your Word is alive and gives me everything I need to live each day successfully for You. Let Psalm 63:8 be true of me in that my soul clings to You. Help me to surrender my days to You, trusting in You and not leaning on my own understanding. Help me to look past myself and what I want to You and what You want. Thank You for encouraging me that the seeds I sow now have not been sown in vain and may come to fruition somewhere down the road in Your perfect timing. I recognize my need to obey You in the next thing in every part of every day, and to trust You with the rest. I humbly look to You to provide whatever grace is necessary to accomplish that. In the precious name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.