Tuesday, November 11, 2003

If I ever want to know anything about gardening, I ask the man in my world who is the master gardener - my friend, Mel. He doesn't ever need to shop in the produce department - he has his own produce department in his backyard in this fabulous garden of his. Not long ago he was telling me about these incredible raspberries he saw growing in the woods near his home. But why have to go hunting for them in the woods, huh, when you can just transplant those raspberries and grow them in your own garden, right?

Well, Mel was sorry he did that. In the woods, where God planted them, the berries had been big and many. In Mel's garden, where he planted them, those same bushes produced berries that were small and few.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Frustrating Harvests."

My gardener friend was thinking about his puny raspberries when he said to me, "Things just do a lot better when they're grown God's way." That applies to a lot more than berries. In fact, it may explain why the outcome you've been getting isn't what you'd been hoping for.

God addresses the difference between His way and my way in our word for today from the Word of God, Isaiah 50:10-11. "Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of His servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide themselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires, and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from My hand: You will lie down in torment."

The picture here isn't about how to grow a great harvest, but how to handle the dark times, the confusing times, the tough times, but the principle is the same. Now one way you can handle that is to relax and rely on God to make things happen. The other is to start making your own light sources - to try to make it happen yourself.

Now for us control freaks, that is one of the greatest dangers in our life, one of the greatest sources of pain and frustration and failure. We can't wait for God's timing. We can't trust God to get it done. He might need a little help from us. We have to fall back on our intelligence, our persuasion and our planning, our schemes, our skill, our effort. God sternly reminds us where trying to force it will leave us. "You will lie down in torment."

The poet Whittier said, "Of all sad words of tongue or pen, 'tis the saddest of these, it might have been." I wonder if that will be the epitaph over your life as you review it with Jesus in heaven. "What might have been" - if only you had let go of the wheel, if only you had relinquished control, if only you had waited for God to do it His way. But all you got instead was what you could do instead of the much bigger thing God could do.

Remember those raspberries. When you try to make things grow your way in your place, the harvest is small. But when you let God grow it His way in His place in His time, you're going to be amazed with the size of the harvest!



Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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