So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9 NLT).
Friend to Friend
“Daddy, why do you do that every day?”
After working his 12-hour shift, one of my dad’s first stops after work was to drop his spare pocket change into a large cardboard Tootsie Roll bank on his dresser. As a little kid, it was one of my favorite moments each day. Sometimes, he’d let me drop a few coins through the slot and he’d smile as the metal coins clinked together. Periodically, he’d remind me why he made that coin drop each day: “I’m saving for summertime, sweetheart.”
We only went on a few family vacations during my childhood, but my parents always made sure that we’d visit the large amusement park near our home once or twice a summer. Shortly before each trip, Mom or Dad would take their Tootsie Roll tubes to the bank and convert that spare change into cash for park tickets, food and spending money.
As a kid, I saw only a few coins going into the savings bank each day, but my parents never lost sight of how a little multiplied over time can accumulate into something meaningful. Time and time again, their inconsequential spare change funded opportunities to create enduring family memories in a way that our family budget couldn’t easily afford.
Today’s Truth is both an attitude check and encouragement, if you’ve wondered whether or not it matters if you pray or read your Bible on any given day. Or, maybe you’re fighting discouragement because you feel like you’re the only believer in your family or at your job. As one who also experienced discouragement and frustration, the Apostle Paul knew that walking out our daily discipleship would feel fruitless at times and we’d wonder if single acts of daily discipleship are worth it.
The sowing and reaping that Paul writes about Galatians 6 looks a lot like my dad’s act of dropping change into that Tootsie Roll bank. Paul uses sowing and reaping as an illustration to describe our investment in the sanctification process, also known as our cooperation with the Holy Spirit’s work in us.
There’s something supernatural and mysterious about sowing and reaping. When a seed is planted in the ground and cared for, it multiples over time. One seed can yield an exponential number or size. While the day-to-day care of a garden or field can grow tiresome, a planter never loses sight of the payoff, which provides the motivation to do the small needed actions like providing food, water and adequate sunlight. Paul encourages us to never tire of doing good because the Holy Spirit will supernaturally and exponentially do in us what we can’t do for ourselves, which is life transformation. God’s big vision for us is a total change of our heart, mind and lives. That’s a supernatural yield far beyond what we can grow on our own. We don’t have to produce the supernatural growth, God will.
If you’ve been discouraged in where you’re at spiritually, take heart in knowing that God is at work in your life, even if you can’t see it. Grab God’s vision as your own and see yourself in the care of His sovereign hands. He knows how to demolish your spiritual strongholds, reshape your self-centered heart or heal your hidden wounds. You show up by willingly and intentionally offering yourself to God, shortcomings and all. In return, Today’s Truth reminds you that the harvest of blessing will come in your life and God will receive glory for it all!
How has Paul’s words in Today’s Truth ministered to your heart today?
God, I believe that You are at work in my life, even when I can’t see it and even when I wonder if praying or other acts of discipleship matter. Remind me today of how You’ve transformed my life and open my eyes to any “harvest of blessing” that has come as a result of Your Spirit’s transforming power.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How can you tell when you’re discouraged in your Christian life?
Can you list one or two areas where you’ve seen God at work in your life and how you think, act or live differently as a result of the Spirit’s work in you?
More From the Girlfriends
If you’ve been struggling with guilt or shame from your past, check out Barb’s new Bible study, Breakthrough: Finding Freedom in Christ. This six-week Bible study on the book of Galatians teaches you how to find freedom from following religious rules and fear of not being enough for God. Barb’s study includes six powerful Freedom Principles and application exercises that equip you to break free from fear and experience God’s great adventure of joy and purpose for your life.
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Thanks for this devotional. It reminds me that when I let up on my spiritual program I become restless, irritable and discontent. God’s ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not mine. I do have to understand why or how God works, I just have to believe. It’s a relief to know my part is simply to submit my will to God each day and have faith as He will direct in His time, not mine.
Thanks for this writing. My small Bible study group is studying the book of Galatians, and I’m vested in the epistles of Paul; so this reference to chapter 6 gives me an uplift!
I know God is always working on our behalf; sometimes it just seems empty. But, continuing walking as a “living sacrifice”, I know someone is watching me from a distance as an example. Jesus is my example, thank goodness!
Thank you Barb, for this inspiration!
I can tell when I’m discouraged when I start to get grouchy and feel miserable.
One area I’ve seen God at work in my life is my physical body. God spoke to me last year two words and one was physical. Long story short, it was spot on and timely. Looking back, I’m not only more educated in basic nutrition and fitness than I’ve ever been, but I’m incorporating it now as a lifestyle. It’s hard because I’m still so new to it, and I want to see results immediately, but boy, I’ve already gotten to reap some harvest, my character’s grown, and I’m feeling better physically, mentally, and emotionally than I ever have before in my adult life.
What an eye-opening and heartwarming devotional. Nearly 7 years ago, I decided to be my Mother’s caretaker. She is elderly and has dementia. Those first 2 years of caring for her were especially difficult. I had to face MANY issues and situations that I wasn’t prepared for and it was hard doing everything on my own. It was the closest thing to the trials of Job that I could ever say that I went through. I was often impatient, disgusted and frustrated with my Mom until I asked God to change my heart and mindset. My Mother couldn’t control what was happening to her, but I could control how I responded and how I dealt with what was happening. As soon as I let go and let God, EVERYTHING improved. I started reading the bible more and tithing. I wouldn’t have made it this far without the Lord’s help and neither would my Mother. I still have my challenges, but I know that the Lord is with us and will NEVER forsake us. His Name be praised now and forever!!!