It's peanut time in North Florida and the farmers are getting ready for the harvest - but sometimes Its hard to tell when it's just the right time.
It's almost harvest time in the Panhandle of Florida and I love to watch the farmers bring in the peanut bounty. It's a process and God teaches me lessons just in watching the farmers.
In looking at these fields behind my house, the plants are big, bushy and green. There are about 30 deer that live in the woods beside the field and they enjoy digging up the peanuts - eating about an acre each year.
But the time has finally come and the first step is to turn the peanut bushes with the tractors so the peanuts underneath the ground can sit on top and dry before harvest. The air will soon begin to smell like peanut butter and I’ll be keeping my windows shut to keep the dust out of the house.
A couple of weeks ago I was walking by the peanut field and noticed that the deer had overturned some of the peanuts and they were on top of the ground. Bending down to look at them I realized that even though the plants looked ready to me, the peanuts in their shell even looked mature and ready to me but when looking inside they were immature and not ready for the harvest. Tiny little peanuts that were barely developed were hiding inside the mature looking shell. If it had of been me -- I would not have looked deep enough to notice that it just wasn't time to harvest. I would have panicked thinking that time was getting away and they would ruin in the field. I also would have been impatient, harvested too soon and it would have been a disaster.
Big God lesson.
Luke 3:23 tells us that Jesus was somewhere around 30 years old when he began his ministry. Now reading that passage - it seems to me that Jesus himself – the Son of God – could have begun His ministry long before that. So why did He wait so long? Didn’t He waste a lot of time? Why didn't He begin at like 20 years old - giving Him 10 more years to minister?
I began to think about the disciples who Jesus called to assist Him in His ministry. Almost everyone of them were young when Jesus began his ministry – probably about 18. I believe that only one was married (Peter – Matthew 8:14), most were not old enough to pay taxes (only Peter) – and some had mamas who were still involved in their lives (James and John- Matthew 20:20). If Jesus had started His ministry 10 years earlier these men would have only been 7 or 8 years old - just immature babies.
There was a plan for waiting. Behind the scenes work still had to be completed just like with those peanuts under the ground.
There are areas in my life that I want to say – “God look……it’s time. Everything is ready – I’m ready to get started and I’m not getting any younger. Time’s a-wasting.” God would probably say “Just wait. Things are not ready yet. Just trust me”. The entire ministry of Jesus lasted only about 3 years - and look what He got accomplished!
Psalm 27:14 says “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”
So....I will wait.
My prayer is:
“God help me to wait on you. Even though things look ready above ground You know what is underneath. You know what has to mature before your plan can be implemented. So give me the strength and the patience to just wait.
When it looks like time is passing by while I’m marking time in a pause – I will wait.
I will remember that you are the author of Time so I will wait.
You have a plan and I am to just trust you so I will wait.
I love you dearly so I will wait. Amen".