(Mark 4:26-29 HCSB) 26 “The kingdom of God is like this,” He said. “A man scatters seed on the ground; 27 he sleeps and rises — night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows — he doesn’t know how. 28 The soil produces a crop by itself — first the blade, then the head, and then the ripe grain on the head. 29 But as soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
A few years ago, the Atkins Diet become a popular weight loss option. The premise was to cut carbs and increase protein. With this new theory came a new way of eating. A popular way to make a sandwich was to replace the bread with outside layers of lettuce. I never could quite get the hang of it, but many people found it to be a delicious way to make a sandwich.
I remember being at a church meal function where someone made a sandwich with two pieces of meat on the outside and one piece of bread in the middle. A young girl observed with great interest the individual creating the masterpiece sandwich. I knew the wheels of curiosity were turning in her little mind, and sure enough, when she had taken all she could she said, “Hey, the meat goes in the middle!” The little girl walked away satisfied that she had helped the individual as best she could. I laughed until I cried!
Mark describes a sower who scatters seed on the ground in preparation for a harvest. After sowing the seed, he sleeps and rises–night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows–but, he doesn’t know how. When the crop is ready, he puts in the sickle and takes possession of his harvest. The middle part of the process is what produces the harvest.
The sower has a part to play in the harvest. First, he must put the proper seed in the ground. If he wants beans, he must sow with that in mind. If he wants watermelon, then only watermelon seed will produce the anticipated result. Second, the sower must become the reaper. Many crops have rotted on the vine because it was not harvested in a timely manner. So, to obtain a fruitful harvest, there must be sowing AND reaping.
With every crop there is a time that is outside the control of the farmer. It is the middle part. It is where nature must take its course. It is where the unseen realm becomes active. Waiting is the only action that is prudent during the middle season. It would make no sense to keep digging up the seed to check on its progress. No, the middle part requires trust!
Just as this is true in nature, it is similarly true in the spirit realm. It is our responsibility to sow, and then to reap. But, the middle part must be left in the Lord’s hands. It is where we trust that what is unseen is producing fruit. A season of trust will be characterized by a resting posture. Absent of worry, the middle season is actually a refreshing time of anticipation.
As you are waiting, remember that God is directing the middle part. He is in charge of producing the harvest. You can trust the middle part to him. So relax! And remember that the meat goes in the middle!
PRAYER: Lord, I trust the unseen middle to you. I’ll sow, trust the growth process to you, and harvest a bountiful blessing in due season! Amen.