In Galatians 6:9 Paul writes, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” This comes in a section where Paul talks about reaping what we sow. If all you are interested in is feeding your base desires, then you should know that what you will eventually reap is destructive and debasing and harmful. But if you want to grow something good, something that lasts, something of God’s new age, then you have to do the front-end work and sow that which is good, that which is beautiful, that which is of the Spirit.
The best harvests don’t simply spring up instantly or spontaneously. You stay diligent, you don’t grow weary of doing good and give up in doing all the preparation, planning, tending, planting, fertilizing, and pest control. The harvest is the payoff for all the hard work that came before. Most of us did not see coming what we have gone through over the last 18 months, nor should we have. We can’t see around every corner. We can’t anticipate every challenge, and trying to is actually crazy making.
But to borrow an image from Joseph’s story, we can store up during the “fat cow” years to prepare for the “lean cow” years. There are things we can do to strengthen our faith during “normal times” that better prepare us for difficult times. There are habits we can form and maintain that take us down paths of peace so that when we walk through the valleys of the shadow of death, we are not overcome by fear, because we know that God is with us and the rod and staff of the Good Shepherd can comfort us. As Paul says in 1 Cor. 9:25-27, we can train our lives for deeper faith, greater love, more consistent peace and peacemaking no matter what comes our way.