What does a farmer do before she plants seeds? She tills the soil. Tilling is actually a form of deep cultivation that is necessary when preparing a new garden bed or when adding large amounts of organic material. Tilling will cultivate the soil 8-10 inches deep, perhaps even more if you are creating a new garden bed in an area where the soil is very poor.
What if this pandemic is the equivalent of tilling the world’s soil? I believe it is, especially in the USA. I believe God is using it to till our soil, and He wants those of us who are faithful to plant seeds in faith. All throughout history, those believers who planted in faith received a “Well done my good and faithful servant.” They pushed through their comfort zone and did things that were viewed as contrarian to current culture.
“It was by faith Abraham obeyed God’s call to go to another place God promised to give him. He left his own country, not knowing where he was to go.” (Hebrews 11:8) What would you do? Abraham was in the last phase of his life, just about to “retire.” Then God said, “No, don’t get comfortable. Get ready for the greatest journey of your life.” When you live by faith, it involves going to places you were never planning to go.
Are you waiting for this pandemic to be over and for things to go back to “normal”? Well, I think you’ll be waiting a very long time.
Rather than wishing and waiting, embrace and plant. Embrace what’s new and different as opportunities to plant seeds in freshly tilled soil. I would encourage you to see it that way. Of course, that’s what coaches are supposed to do, encourage their athletes to push through and past their comfort zones. For those who don’t know me. I’m a coach. That’s how God made me.
A coach inspires. A coach motivates. A coach teaches. A coach pushes their students into uncomfortable territory and creates learning moments so they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, intuitionally and spiritually.
Also, I am a coach of faith, pushing myself and my athletes into uncomfortable, worldly arenas to compete for hearts, minds and influence. My aim is to help form good habits, passion and purpose and to forge a joyful diligence, which feels like hard work (no pain), and humble desperation, which feels like you’re working for God, not yourself (no gain). Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit’s passion and purpose that fuels us.
We don’t have to be perfect in our diligence and desperation. We only have to be steadfastly resolute. The root word of steadfast is steady, and the Hebrew word for steady is a verb meaning upheld. Therefore, to be steadfastly resolute in faith is to be upheld by God, i.e. to be dependent on the upholder. To have a steady heart in an unsteady world, among unsteady people, during unsteady days, we need to know that and by whom we are upheld.
Being upheld allows one to be gracious when others are harsh and unkind. Being upheld empowers one to be merciful when others are cold and unforgiving. Being upheld emboldens one to be righteous when others indulge and rebel.
Being upheld dissolves fears and becomes a kiln for courage and boldness in an unsteady time. Being upheld enables us to faithfully plant the seeds He wants us to plant today.