Del Tarr says:  Note the central theme of the following article that relates so well to American society’s fixation on the speed of activity augmented by our technological prowess in the world. We want to do things at micro-wave speed, God prefers the crock pot! In reality, you can’t “hurry” a seed.

By George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God

I had lunch with a veteran missionary couple a few years ago as they were completing their years of service. From what had been told me, I knew that they had almost single-handedly translated the entire Bible into the language of the largest indigenous people group in Guatemala.

The language had never been reduced to writing. So, this couple not only had the task of translating the Bible, but creating the orthography for the language and then teaching literacy so the people could read the Bible they translated.

I asked, “What was it like for you in the beginning, when you first came 30 years ago?”

Tears welled up in the corner of their eyes. “Oh, it was very difficult. We moved into a village so we could immerse ourselves in the language, but the witch doctor warned the people not to talk to us. Finally, at the end of two years we made our first friend in the village who would teach us the language.”

Not long after, a letter came from the new pastor of their home church. The pastor wrote, “Under my leadership we are making changes in our support of missions. We want to put our money where the results are greatest, thus I’m writing all our missionaries and request you to answer this question, ‘How many souls did you win to Christ this last year?’ On the basis of your answer, we will apportion our missionary dollars.”

Tears again welled up in the eyes of these veteran missionaries. “What could we do? We wrote back and explained our situation and reported that, while we had not won any souls, we had just made our first friend.” The pastor cut off their support entirely. They were so discouraged they almost came home, but the Lord raised up others who heard of their plight.

Thirty years had now gone by. Their work was done. The entire Bible was in the hands of this large indigenous people group. Now, there are thousands of believers and scores of churches scattered all over the mountains and hillsides of Guatemala.

The pastor who cut off their support failed to recognize one of the key principles of Kingdom growth: You must sow if you want to reap. Reaping is far more dramatic that sowing. The farmer puts the seed into the ground. For a while it is out of sight, buried and manifests no visible results.

That’s often how the work of God is and explains why we can become discouraged. We want to see visible results and see them quickly.

I encourage you today to keep sowing.  Hear the apostle Paul’s words: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9. The proper time is really God’s time. It’s most difficult in the season between sowing and reaping. We must not let discouragement or weariness blind us to the fact that God’s time is coming that brings a harvest – “thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times what was sown” Mark 4:20.

  1. Roy Scott says:

    Thank you, Dr. Tarr, for sharing these very enlightened words from Dr. Wood.


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