"The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops." 2 Timothy 2:6
In an interview published Monday by InStyle Magazine, Shalane Flanagan, Olympic medalist and the first American woman in 40 years to win the New York City Marathon, said, "My Olympic medal is a highlight of my career, but Sunday gave me the greatest sense of accomplishment because it took a lifetime of work to achieve. I ran my first marathon seven years ago and I had to go through a lot of heartaches and ups and downs over that time to finally get to this moment." Once again emphasizing that success doesn't come overnight, she went on to say, "There's a lot of instant gratification in this generation. And it's hard to see the big picture and have patience to dedicate yourself to something that's far off in the future cause you don't know when it will happen."
You know, the apostle Paul understood how important hard work and patience were too. And he knew that being a true disciple of Jesus Christ would require both qualities displayed throughout a lifetime of work. Which is why he encouraged young Timothy, who was undergoing trials within the church he was leading, to endure to the end. To be like the "hardworking farmer" who plants his crops in eager expectation and then patiently, persistently and whole-heartedly continues working the land-sometimes laboring for long hours in the heat and cold and the wind and rain despite all the heartaches, ups and downs, and setbacks that come with being a farmer. It's only then, by enduring through the trials Paul stressed, that Timothy, like the hard working farmer, would reap the benefits of his labor and "be the first to receive a share of the crops."
So today, may you and I dedicate ourselves to reaping a harvest that might not be instant-laboring day and night through trials and setbacks to win others to Christ. May each one of us be like the “hardworking farmer” so that others might come to know Jesus because of our efforts.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your Word that shows the benefits of working like a farmer. Of not giving up when things get hard, but pressing on through the trials. Help us to remember that success in anything we do doesn't happen overnight but is always a result of hard work and patient endurance. Help us to cultivate those characteristics within ourselves. It's in your precious name we pray Jesus. Amen.
Giving it all to you - Carrollton