The Harvest Will Come
One summer, way back before kids were in the picture, I was a news anchor covering the drought that was dooming crops all across Kentucky. It hadn’t rained for so many days that our station kept count on a ticker at the bottom of the screen for our viewers.
When rain was finally forecasted, I was assigned the story. I called a local farmer to ask if we could wait out in his field for the rain to come, and do an interview when it did. I knew one thing for sure–when you’re a farmer whose crops need water to survive, days can feel like months.
When you’re a farmer whose crops need water to survive, days can feel like months.
We set up in his cornfield, wanting to catch the look on his face when it began to rain. We rolled the cameras for a long time. Like, painfully long. I was waiting — impatiently for Mr. Farmer’s reaction to that rain. He sat there, talking to us about nothing and everything, looking expectantly at the sky. The bugs were biting. It was hotter than hot. The air was thick. But still, no rain came. I was getting frustrated. I needed it to rain for my farmer friend so that I could get his reaction and get to editing my story.
He wasn’t a weatherman but could have forecasted it all himself. He sat there, pointing at the clouds, “Here we go. Grey clouds looming over there that will give us our rain.”
The wind began to blow. It thundered in the distance. A flash of lightning appeared far enough away that we didn’t take cover in the barn just yet. There we were, on the edge of the moment. Was it going to happen—was it finally going to rain?
Rain it did! Right there in the middle of the cornfield, with the camera rolling on a man whose life had just drastically changed by a single drop of rain. Mr. Farmer got his rain, and I got my reaction shot.
As he helped me carry my stuff back to the car, there was an extra bounce in his step. It was a downpour, and he was soaking it up. Because the rain had come, he knew his corn crop would survive the summer and that the long-awaited harvest was on its way. We all got what we wanted that day, but it doesn’t always happen like that.
We all got what we wanted that day, but it doesn’t always happen like that.
The thing is–motherhood is a lot like farming. And if I was a farmer, I’m pretty sure my crop would look like shriveled-up, dried-out popcorn seeds, split open, waiting for something to happen.
We desperately want to water our crop, watch sprigs grow, and, eventually, harvest, but what we really need to do is focus on the mundane work of planting seeds and waiting. That is the critical first step before we see the fruits of our labor.
Patience is cultivated over a long period of time—Like a crop to the harvest.
So boring, right? That’s how it felt to me. But motherhood, like farming, requires patience. Patience is cultivated over a long period of time, like a crop to the harvest. Unfortunately for us moms, our seasons are longer than the friendly farmer’s.
The harvest has always been the thing I long for. I get beat down by the drought of doing things that exhaust me, knowing that even rain can still be far away. I wait tirelessly without seeing anything come from what I planted.
So I pray.
Pray for the rain and for the harvest that will come from that rain.
Pray through my own frustrations.
Pray against my complaints and irritations.
It can be long-suffering, disappointing, but it’s what produces patience in me.
“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” – James 5:7-8
The orientation of our focus needs to be like our friend, the farmer: Looking up. Expectantly. Knowing God is working.
My field (and maybe yours, too) might be a bunch of corn kernels lying exposed for birds to peck. That’s what the middle of motherhood often looks like. Not a field full of corn stocks, eight feet high. Not yet.
Water. Wait. Wait.
Wait some more.
These things take time. Though it might look ugly now, eventually, the harvest will come.