Truth of the Week 12: Reap in Due Season

by Catherine King and Jenny Cioto

Galatians 6:9 – And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. NIV

Let us not grow weary. That’s a pep talk for sure. Like when you are on a soccer team and you have 10 minutes left until the end of the game and you are so spent you can barely run but you’re one point down and your coach is yelling – “Don’t slow down! Keep giving it your all! Go, go, go!” and all you want to do is fall out on the field. But then you score and tie it. Then you go into overtime and you win it. Would a win before overtime be better and a sub had come in for you to rest because you did so well? Of course.

But your due season wasn’t ready yet. You were destined for overtime.

So I suppose life isn’t exactly like that soccer game from high school. The word weary we relate to as a grown woman is in the sense of mental and emotional exhaustion probably mixed with some physical exhaustion, as well. We just can’t. Or don’t want to. Or both. Maybe we have given our best to relationships for a while and then it became too much to handle. We are so spent from everything – we try so hard to make perfect and control – we fall short that we get frustrated and just plain weary. We daydream about running away or what life may have looked like had we chosen another path – perhaps an easier one. We wonder if we are normal in thinking these things but dare hardly say anything to anyone lest they look at us like the weak individual we think we are.

That’s not the life we are called to lead. Sure, we have seasons where this makes sense and we struggle. That’s life with its ebbs and flows. After you pick up some pieces and align your heart with God’s you can keep moving forward, even if it’s slow. 

Paul looks to encourage believers in this truth of the week. He knows we are tired and weary and he doesn’t want us to give up. He knows that on the other side of our work, our good works, our struggles – is a rewarded eternal life.

Commentary from the NIV tells us that the word reaping is referencing the blessings of eternal life.

Backing up just a few here and looking back at the two verses above verse 9 and we see – “whatever one sows, that will he also reap (v7).” Verse 8 says, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” NIV

So this is very much leaning towards a reaping in an eternal sense. Not that we don’t seem to catch a bit of what we have sown like a punch in the mouth at times on the earthly front!

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible pointed out something I hadn’t thought about upon first looking at this verse. He mentions the basic idea of time between sowing and reaping. Obviously, right? There’s time for the growth of what you’ve sown to show itself.

Another bright point is right at the end of the verse – “if we do not give up.”

Ugh. Our “I tried for a while but it just wore me out” excuse doesn’t get us a pat on the back and a trophy for participating. Yup, zing on me, too.

So what are we planting in our life’s garden? What are our motives? Are we listening to God’s wisdom in leading us or are we just doing what feels good and makes us happy? Are you doing you or are you doing God?

This life is so full of the message that we should let go of whatever holds us down, isn’t good for us, isn’t causing us outright joy. I’m not suggesting that you don’t use good common judgement if someone or something is legitimately hurting you. I am however, suggesting that we don’t just back off things completely that are hard. Oh, so much easier said than done. I’m cringy just writing this because I am so guilty of walking away from things after I’ve just done all I can to manage something. I’ve excused myself saying I just didn’t have it in me to give anymore. I probably was spot on in that I didn’t but God would have loved to have been given the chance if I had brought it to Him. He likes to use weakness and broken people and I highly qualify!

Transparency here – I am still working on this process of not giving up when things wear me out. I’ve thrown the towel in on things and relationships and I’ve been close to doing it to others. I’m not proud of my failures, just being real.

But some of the things I have not given up on – God has redeemed and even let me reap earthly benefits from not giving in to the weary. I just have to continue to ask for more help in the areas I struggle in. I do wonder what I may have missed out on.

Good news is that it’s not too late. Maybe our gardens need pruning and some rows replaced with new seed. It’s not too late for you or me. For that I am very grateful.

 

Catherine King