Have you ever agreed to something because you expected a certain outcome, but then something completely different happened? Often the “different” result is not good and we’re left wondering, “How did that happen?” It may be that we didn’t have a full understanding of the situation or we were taking a risk. Regardless of why it happened, the result is disappointment and loss. We do our best to pick up the pieces and move on.
We may not be where we thought we’d be or where we want to be at this point in life. So how can we make the most of opportunities we have moving forward? Here are 3 steps toward good life:
1. Plant good seed. There is a law of nature that says we’ll get what we plant. For example, if we plant wheat seeds, we won’t get watermelon. We’ll get wheat. If we plant sunflower seeds, we won’t get turnips. We’ll get sunflowers. What we plant is what we’ll harvest. In our lives, we know this law as “you reap what you sow”, and it refers to the state of our heart and mind. Yes it’s true that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. But regardless of circumstances, we can live a joy-filled “good life” if we’re planting good seeds. How do we know if the seeds we’re planting are good or bad? If we’re continually focused on pleasure and physical treasure, we will reap what the world has to offer––broken relationships, empty pursuits, and a continual longing for more in life (i.e. the harvest of bad seeds). But if we focus on loving and serving others, we will find peace and joy even in the hardest of circumstances. This is the harvest of good seeds. “A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7
2. Don’t give up: dawn always comes after darkness. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to give up than to continue holding on or trying to do good things for other people. But God assures us that if we don’t give up, we will reap a harvest at the proper time. We can’t always see good seeds taking root. Just as seeds of grain begin the growing process under ground and we can’t see anything happening until the small green shoots begin to emerge, the seeds we’re planting in our lives and the lives of others may not be evident right away. But the law of nature prevails: we reap what we sow. If we’re planting good seeds, we’ll have a harvest of good life. But we can’t give up or we’ll never experience the joy of the harvest. “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
3. Praise in the process, thanking God for the opportunities He gives us to plant seeds. Here’s truth: God opens doors of opportunity; how we move through them is up to us. Doors of opportunity may relate to pouring into the lives of others with encouragement. These doors may be opportunities to be a light of hope in someone’s dark world. Doors of opportunity may relate to showing God’s love to someone by choosing not to do what others are doing: yelling, gossiping, lying, stealing. These doors may be opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ by giving our time and attention to someone who is struggling or feeling alone. We may not always understand God’s plans behind the doors in front of us, but if we choose to move forward through them praising God in the process, we will be planting good seeds along the way. And goodness will bloom behind us as a trail showing the path we’ve chosen. “Surely goodness and love shall follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6
We’ve all experienced the turmoil of real life. Many of us have endured years of confrontation with people close to us. And many of us want to move forward in a new way, breaking the bondage of the turmoil of the past. There is hope for new life filled with goodness, joy and love.
This hope takes root when we begin planting seeds of good life.
God says, “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:8
May the path we walk starting today be marked with good seeds. And surely goodness, mercy and love shall follow our trail from this point forward.
May I pray?
Lord, You are good. Thank You for the love and mercy that You want to shower on us if we’ll come to You, regardless of where we’ve been or where we are. You’re calling us right now, asking us to join You on the path to good life. Please help us to inspect the seeds we’re sowing today so we can choose good seed. And please, God, fill us with hope as we refuse to give up. May our lips and our lives be full of praise for You. Amen.
Q4U: What good seeds are you planting today?
This blog was a timely reminder to me to focus on what is good in my life instead of the difficult things. I believe that my job gives me many opportunities to plant good seeds. I know that God has given me a heart for special needs children, and I have been entrusted to transport them to and from school every day. I have a natural ability to love them for their uniqueness and to be God’s light to them, their parents, and their teachers. I think I need to take this responsibility more seriously when I want to wallow in my own self-pity.